The New Jersey School Boards Association reacted favorably to a June 9 proposal by Senate President Steve Sweeney and other lawmakers to form a commission to recommend ways to resolve issues with the distribution of state education aid.
The commission would issue its recommendations, including proposed legislation, within one year of its appointment.
“The New Jersey School Boards Association believes that changes to the administration of education funding require a studied approach,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “We share the sponsors’ goal of a fair and adequate allocation of state funding for all school districts.”
He continued, “Many of the factors that would be addressed by the proposed state School Aid Funding Fairness Commission have an impact on school districts’ ability to provide an adequate education, and they require review. These include the state’s tax levy cap, the administrative spending growth limit, and the calculation of the community’s contribution (‘fair share’).
“As always, NJSBA will review the legislation in light of its impact on all of our members,” said Feinsod.
Under the legislation proposed to create the commission, the group would develop a plan to bring every school district to the level of funding deemed as adequate under New Jersey’s school finance system, the School Funding Reform Act of 2008. According to the sponsors of the enabling legislation, 80 percent of the state’s school districts are underfunded.
In addition to Senate President Sweeney, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, and Assembly Representatives Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling are co-sponsoring the legislation to create the School Aid Funding Fairness Commission.