Murphy’s School Funding Allocations Prompt LD-16 Lawmakers to Seek Changes

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Thursday’s proposed school funding allocation announcement by Gov. Phil Murphy ruffled LD-16, where state Senator Andrew Zwicker and Assembly members Roy Freiman and Mitchelle Drulis – all Democrats – said they were disturbed to see that five local school districts lost vital budget allocations for the FY25 school year.

“As the husband of a Hillsborough educator and parent to three children who went through the outstanding South Brunswick school system, I am outraged at the cuts both districts and others in our area learned of yesterday,” said Zwicker.

“I was hopeful when the proposed budget included $900 million in increased funding for schools.

Freiman of HIllsborough
Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16) of Hillsborough.

Upon reviewing the actual numbers for the 16th legislative district, while I am pleased to see increases for many of our schools, these allocations do not offset my outrage and frustration on behalf of the school districts that will lose funding. This decrease will cause our children to lose access to teachers, interventionists, activities, and countless other imperative portions of their education,” said Drulis.

“While we are appreciative that many school districts in our legislative district have received positive net funding, we continue to be alarmed by the losses experienced by the school districts of Hillsborough Township, South Brunswick Township, Lebanon Borough, High Bridge Borough, and Hunterdon Central,” added Freiman. “The funding losses will be devastating to these districts. We cannot continue to follow this school funding formula as it currently stands.”

Therefore, State Representatives Zwicker, Freiman, and Drulis said they advocate for the immediate passage of A-3452/S-2434, giving the school districts the ability to responsibly respond to these significant reductions in school funding. Additionally, they are calling for a change in the funding formula that would enable transparency and greater funding predictability, eliminating large annual fluctuations.

Zwicker said, “Just like last year, I will fight for the future of the families of the 16th district, and will work with my colleagues to ensure that these devastating proposed cuts do not come to fruition.”

“The formula has proven it has significant volatility year after year, which inhibits the district’s ability to plan for changes, manage programming, staffing, and deliver quality education to our students,” Freiman added.

“We cannot stand by and allow this to happen. Cutting school funding jeopardizes our children’s future and undermines the quality of education they receive,” said Drulis.

Freiman concluded, “We appreciate every teacher, administrator, and school employee who shows up every single day to support our students. As your state representatives, we pledge to work on this vital task until the school funding allocations match the dedication given to our students.”

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5 responses to “Murphy’s School Funding Allocations Prompt LD-16 Lawmakers to Seek Changes”

  1. Yes it does. Properly taxes will increase.
    NJ will do whatever is necessary to prop up already failing schools.
    We are already increasing tolls, aid to NJ Transit and other taxes given the recent budget passes in the NJ legislature.

    The state just cannot get enough of our hard earned money.

  2. Perhaps, this is a back door way of pushing for consolidation of schools. There is only so much juice you can squeeze from a lemon.

  3. This happens every year and every year lawmakers seem to come up with a separate bucket of money to defray the the cuts. Last year lawmakers defrayed 2/3 of those cuts with a one-time appropriation of nearly 103 million dollars.
    The districts were to look toward even larger cuts this year , when New Jersey completed the phase-out of aid to overfunded districts. Governor Murphy’s 2018 bill called C2, is acting out exactly as planned. It was to give overfunded districts 7 years to adjust to less state aid. This was done in the name of equity. The suggestion now on the table is, districts that are not meeting their local fair share be allowed to exceed the 2% property tax cap , without asking the voters. The 2% cap was a Chris Christie era legislation that was to help lower property taxes, since New Jersey is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. It is probably time to come up with a solution that meets the needs of everyone fairly. The kicking the can down the road every year and the answer to the outrage – create a fact-finding “task force” – is poor at best. This will land on the tax payers. He giveth and he taketh away.”

  4. In a lot of the cases, if you up to 4%, District taxes won’t go up. It gives the district someway to make up the differences. Some districts got big increases rather than spreading out the money. So, none of the districts lost money and at least broke even.

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