Governor Chris Christie’s FY16 state budget once again proposes no increase in state school aid under the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA), New Jersey’s pioneering statewide weighted student funding formula.
The FY16 Executive branch budget means that, in every year since he took office in 2010, Governor Christie has proposed massive aid cuts, no aid increase, or increases so small as to have no practical impact on school district budgets. The only real increase in formula aid came in 2012, when the NJ Supreme Court in the Abbott v. Burke case ordered the Governor to restore $500 million illegally cut from the budgets of high poverty urban districts.
The year that Governor Christie took office (2010) state aid to schools totaled $7.93 billion. The FY16 state aid proposal is $7.96 billion, or an increase of 0.4%, or $30 million. If the $500 million in aid restored under court order is not included in the calculation, state aid actually declined over this timeframe. Under Governor Christie’s FY16 proposal, about 80% of all school districts will receive less state aid than they did in FY10.
Below is a year-by-year breakdown of state school aid appropriations under Governor Christie:
Under Governor Christie, many districts, especially those with high student need, have been unable to maintain their budgets in the face of increasing costs and the imposition of new mandates from the NJ Department of Education, including the new Common Core standards and PARCC assessments, the new teacher evaluation system, bullying prevention programs, and other initiatives. The hallmark of the Governor’s record has been an erosion of fair and equitable funding, resulting in year-to-year cuts in classroom teachers, support staff, remedial programs and other essential resources.
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications