The New Jersey Department of Education has announced that 16 school districts will receive $37 million in stabilization aid.
In the fiscal year 2021-2022 state budget, some $50 million was included in stabilization aid grants to assist districts that are adjusting to new funding levels as determined by S-2, the school funding reform measure enacted in 2018.
Districts that experienced a reduction in state aid, or face a structural budgetary imbalance could apply for stabilization aid. The fiscal year Appropriations Act also provides for stabilization aid to military-impacted districts if certain criteria are met.
Three Ocean County school districts were awarded $20.2 million in combined stabilization aid – about 55% of the roughly $37 million that was announced.
Toms River, Brick Township and Jackson school districts will receive about $7.6 million, $6.5 million and $6 million, respectively, after submitting applications to the New Jersey Department of Education.
“Toms River Regional Schools is relieved and extremely grateful for Gov. Murphy’s announcement today that our requested $7.6 million in stabilization aid will be provided,” said Superintendent Stephen Genco in an Oct. 28 news release. “On behalf of our students and staff, I thank our board members and community supporters who spent time and effort behind the scenes to fight for our district and for Toms River; our team here who thoroughly and successfully developed our comprehensive application for stabilization aid; and of course, Gov. Murphy, who has heard our collective voice and who has responded. This is indeed wonderful and welcome news.”
The aid will help Toms River Regional Schools develop its 2022-2023 budget. The school district added that it “will assuredly save staff positions,” noting that about 40 positions were slashed entering this year, which could have been more if not for pandemic-relief funding.
Another aid recipient was the Jackson school district, which will receive $6 million.
“This is great news, as the district will be facing another $4.1 million cut based on the State Bill S-2 for the 2022-2023 school budget,” said Nicole Pormilli, superintendent of Jackson schools, in a message posted on the school system’s homepage. “The district has already lost $11 million since the onset of the S-2 bill four years ago. “
The approved funding will help with the 2022-2023 budget, Pormilli said. “It will save staff positions that support the wonderful programs available to our Jackson students. The district is thankful for this good news and for the communitywide effort to advocate that we receive this support.”
NJDOE is also making Education Rescue Grants available to any district that saw a reduction in teaching staff in 2021-2022. Those grants can be used to rehire or retrain teaching staff. Any district that meets these criteria is eligible to apply, regardless of that district’s status under S-2.
The chart below lists the stabilization aid allocations.
|County||District Name||Stabilization Aid Awarded|
|Cape May||Lower Cape May Regional||$2,014,568|
|Cape May||Lower Township||$2,114,525|
|Monmouth||Upper Freehold Regional||$2,159,000|
|Ocean||Toms River Regional||$7,641,573|
|Salem||Lower Alloways Creek||$298,405|