Senate President Steve Sweeney has proposed changes to New Jersey’s school funding formula – the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) – which, if enacted, would cut $615 million in state aid from 188 districts over the next five to seven years, impacting thousands of students in two-thirds of all legislative districts and all but one county in the state.

Senator Sweeney’s proposal – Senate Bill 2 (S2) – would phase in cuts to “adjustment aid,” the categorical funding designed to prevent steep drops in school budgets as districts transitioned to the SFRA formula.

S2 would cut the adjustment aid each district received in the 2017-18 school year over seven years, beginning in 2018-19 through the 2024-25 school year, by the following percentages: 5%, 13%, 23%, 37%, 55%, 76% and 100%.

Instead of seven years, S2 would accelerate the cuts in Jersey City’s adjustment aid over five years, by 5%, 28.75%, 52.5%, 76.25% and 100% from 2018-19 through 2022-23.

S2 singles-out county vocational school districts for special treatment, allowing these districts to keep their adjustment aid to hold them harmless from any aid cuts.

Education Law Center’s analysis of the impact of the proposed aid cuts in S2 shows:

  • 187 districts, excluding Jersey City, would have their aid cut by $23 million in 2018-19, rising to $111 million by 2024-25:

  • Jersey City would have $7.5 million cut in 2018-19, followed by cuts of $36 million each year from 2019-20 through 2022-23.
  • Eight county vocational districts would be exempt from adjustment aid cuts and, instead, would retain almost $18 million in adjustment aid holding them harmless at 2017-18 aid levels:

S2 would trigger successive and deep funding cuts in schools serving students in urban, suburban and rural districts across the state. These cuts, in turn, will cause reductions in teachers, support staff and other essential resources.

“In many districts, the aid cuts in S2 are so large that there is no realistic way for the districts to make up the loss by raising local revenue,” said David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director. “Even worse, the cuts will drive many district budgets below the level of spending for a constitutional ‘thorough and efficient’ education under the SFRA formula.”

For a district-by-district breakdown of the proposed aid cuts, click here.

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Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240