The New Jersey Department of Education announced in a Dec. 23 news release that it has approved $29.65 million in funding to help 42 school districts that are experiencing a reduction in state aid or are otherwise facing a budgetary imbalance.
Funding for the stabilization aid was made available through a $30 million line item in Gov. Phil Murphy’s fiscal year 2023 state budget. The New Jersey School Boards Association has advocated for the inclusion of this aid category in recent budget cycles, which is designed to help districts restructure operations as they adjust to reduced funding levels. NJSBA applauds the governor and the Legislature for their continued commitment to this important state aid program.
“The department always strives to work closely with districts to ensure schools receive the funding necessary for the needs of their students,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of education. “This stabilization aid is an example of that partnership with school districts, and I applaud Gov. Murphy for providing this additional layer of immediate support.”
The NJDOE prioritized applications based on various district needs, including, for example, equipment, supplies, technology and furniture; purchase of school buses and other transportation costs; textbooks, if not requested and funded in fiscal 2022 stabilization aid; and one-time security costs.
This is the second year the governor’s annual budget has included stabilization aid, which is designed to support districts that saw a reduction in state aid due to a bill that became law in 2018. That law (P.L. 2018, Chapter 67), commonly referred to as “S-2” for its bill number in the Senate, established a seven-year phase-in to full funding of school districts to eliminate years of state-aid inequities that overfunded some school districts while failing to keep pace with the fiscal needs of other growing districts.
Districts that applied for the fiscal year 2023 stabilization aid were required to demonstrate how they plan to fund operations in future years when supplemental state aid is not available. Districts that received stabilization aid funding in fiscal year 2022 were also required to describe how they implemented their fiscal year 2022 stabilization plan and how they will navigate the remainder of the phase-in of S-2 without the need for additional funding.
Fiscal Year 2023 Stabilization Aid, By District
|County||School District||Amount Awarded|
|Cape May||Lower Cape May Regional||$250,000|
|Middlesex||Old Bridge Township||$2,818,000|
|Middlesex||South Brunswick Township||$2,890,780|
|Monmouth||Upper Freehold Regional||$1,430,000|
|Ocean||Ocean Gate Boro||$133,800|
|Ocean||Point Pleasant Boro||$63,206|
|Passaic||West Milford Township||$1,316,260|
|Salem||Lower Alloways Creek||$90,000|
|Warren||North Warren Regional||$110,000|