BOUND BROOK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says his school budget proposal will save taxpayers money in some districts, but those who live in districts that would lose money say the budget hurts their communities.
Public schools will get more money than ever before. Murphy is earmarking $16.3 billion for 2021.
“This is good news for everyone because every dollar of new school aid from the state is direct property tax relief,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s partner in this school plan, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, says the new funding method is about fairness. Some districts will get more money now, while others which have been over-funded for years will be cut.
There’s 193 of those. Some may need local tax increases to make up the difference, such as Freehold, where busing for more than 3,000 students may be cut next year.
“This year’s budget was reduced by almost $4 million … so we’ve basically drained our reserves,” said Charles Sampson, superintendent of the Freehold Regional School District.
Brick is closing a whole school.
These districts and others are suing the state.
“So in government, everything is supposed to be out in the open, it’s supposed to be transparent. So of course, we requested the formula to be able to plug in our numbers that we have to make sure that there’s not some type of mathematical error, to see why are we are getting cut, why are we being treated so much differently,” Brick Township Mayor John Ducey said.
Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet, when asked about transparency, said, “The formula, it is proprietary, so it’s one of those things with the treasury. So that’s something that we’re actually working with to see what we can, but right now, we cannot release the actual statistical data.”
The governor is proposing $50 million in one-time stabilization aid to districts hit hardest by cutbacks but could not say who would receive the aid or how much they would get.
Once full funding is complete, each district will get money based on student enrollment and community factors.