P.O. Box 909 ● Trenton, NJ 08605-0909 ● Phone: 609.695.7600 ● Fax: 609.695.0413 ● Web: www.njsba.org/PI
Budget Watch 2007: Where School Districts Stand Today - Revised
Governor's Budget Message: Feb. 22
Gov. Jon S. Corzine is scheduled to present his 2007-2008 state budget to the Legislature at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. His address will be broadcast live on New Jersey Public Television and Radio NJN, and also online at www.njleg.state.nj.us and www.njn.net.
NJSBA will provide coverage of the event on Thursday, as it relates to K-12 public education, at www.njsba.org.
School Budgets 2007
Here are answers to some questions that local school officials might have about the 2007-2008 school budget development process:
When will my state aid figures be available? Under statute, state aid figures must be released within two days of the governors budget address, which is set for Feb. 22. However, exceptions have been made in the past.
Will there be a new school funding formula for 2007-2008? No.
Will state aid be flat again? No indication of state aid levels has been provided as of Feb. 14. The administration has expressed a need for increases in school aid; legislative leaders have stated a desire to increase aid.
The commissioner of education has told NJSBA that, even without a new formula, the governors budget recommendations will illustrate the future direction of school finance in New Jersey. How that new direction will translate into individual districts state aid for 2007-2008 can only be a point of speculation right now.
Will proposed 2007-2008 school district base budgets go on the ballot? Yes. The proposal to eliminate the vote on school district base budgets died in December. Base budgets, above-cap ballot questions, and school board candidates all will appear on the ballot in the Annual School Election on Tuesday, April 17.
Will above-cap questions require super majority voter approval? Not this year. In 2007, a simply majority over 50 percent of voters will be needed approve over-cap ballot questions.
Starting in 2008, however, 60 percent of voters would be needed to approve above-cap ballot questions under legislation (A-1) that is now on the governors desk.
What is the 2007-2008 school budget cap? As of Feb. 14, the state Department of Education had not announced the 2007-2008 budget cap.
Complicating matters is the fact that a new type of spending control the 4 percent property tax cap received final legislative approval and is awaiting the governors signature.
Would the new 4 percent property-tax cap replace the old budget cap? According to the state Department of Educations Division of Finance, the new 4 percent property tax cap would replace the existing spending growth limit.
Would the super executive county superintendent play a role in 2007-2008 budget development? No. School boards will submit their preliminary school budgets to the county office of education for review as they have in the past.
What is the deadline for submitting preliminary budgets to the county office of education? The statutory deadline is March 4, which is a Sunday. (When such deadlines fall on weekends, the state generally moves the deadline to the next business day.)
Has the Department of Education issued a school budget/election calendar for 2007? The education departments division of finance posted the Dates for 2007 School Election Procedures and Related Budget Procedures on Feb. 16. Significant dates include:
The division of finance has also scheduled three regional budget information sessions for school officials on Feb. 22 and 23