The New Jersey Department of Education on Friday announced that it will provide just over $15 million in emergency aid to 13 of the 34 school districts that made application.

Overall, $362 million in emergency aid was requested by the school districts for 2019-2020. In all but one case, the 13 awards were below the amounts the districts requested.

Eighteen of the emergency aid applicants were scheduled for state aid reductions in 2019-2020 — most due to readjustments resulting from Senate Bill 2. Of these districts, only five were awarded emergency aid.

NJSBA represents all school districts. The Association is concerned that the awards fail to reflect the exceptional circumstances faced by many of these districts.

In a November School Board Notes article and other forums, NJSBA stated that emergency aid and other state support is necessary for those districts that face exceptional circumstances due to the readjustment of state aid. At the same time, NJSBA supports S-2’s restoration of full funding for those districts where students were shortchanged for nearly a decade by the state’s administration of the school finance system.

The Association has called for funding initiatives that would benefit all school districts. These proposals range from changes in special education funding to health benefits reform.

In addition, with the endorsement of the Association’s Delegate Assembly, the NJSBA School Finance Committee has begun a study of the community wealth calculation under the school funding formula.

The NJDOE’s list of emergency aid requests and awards can be found here.

 

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