The Division of Local Government Services within the Department of Community Affairs is now accepting grant applications for the School Regionalization Efficiency Program, according to a memo from the New Jersey Department of Education.
SREP, which was established by P.L.2021, c.402, provides grant funding for school district feasibility studies that support the creation of meaningful and implementable plans for school district regionalization and consolidation.
Program details, including application requirements and evaluation criteria, may be found in the SREP Grant Guidelines.
The new law also allows school districts that are participating in the program under an application that has been approved, and that have a state aid differential that is positive, to elect to receive state aid according to an alternative phase-out schedule that would reduce the magnitude of the districts’ state aid reductions (as per the 2018 school funding reform law commonly referred to as “S-2”). Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, once the districts receive notification from the Division of Local Government Services that the SREP grant has received approval or preliminary approval, a participating district may email the NJDOE to request the alternative state aid schedule be used for their district.
The request must include a copy of the board resolution approving the school district’s request and the letter from the Division of Local Government Services that shows the date of the SREP grant approval. If the participating district does not regionalize within two years of the SREP application approval, the state aid calculation will revert back to the schedule provided in N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-68.b that is applicable to all districts.