Lawmakers Budget Plan Includes Changes In School Funding

Jun 20, 2018

Governor Phil Murphy

The budget plan New Jersey Democratic leaders hope to pass tomorrow includes some changes in funding for public schools.

Parent and Chesterfield committeewoman Andrea Katz supports the lawmakers’ plan to limit reductions in state aid to school districts that have received more than required by the school funding formula and increase aid to underfunded districts.

“They lay out a path forward for everyone, for under-aided districts and for over-aided districts. And I just really wish the Governor would support it so we all know where we’re going next year.”

Governor Phil Murphy supports the thrust of the plan, but until there’s agreement on sustainable revenues, he says there can’t be a deal on school funding.

“It’s a very good path that’s been laid forward, but it must be funded. That overwhelms, that dwarfs, any of the elements of this.”

The legislative leaders’ budget proposal includes a 2-year corporate tax surcharge. Murphy says that won’t provide sustainable funding, especially for school districts now being shortchanged.

“They deserve more than just another one shot.  And as Governor I cannot commit the state to a new school funding formula without knowing that we will be able to keep the promise beyond the 2019-2020 school year.”

The Governor is still optimistic he’ll find common ground with lawmakers to get a new budget enacted by the June 30th deadline.

“I’m available every second of every hour in every day and the only price of admission for that conversation, there’s only one price, that folks come to the table with sustainable long-term revenue sources.”

If a new budget is not in place by the deadline, it could mean a government shutdown.

But Murphy says people shouldn't change any vacation plans in New jersey around the Fourth of July holiday because of a potential shutdown.

“They shouldn’t rethink that for one second. The Jersey Shore is booming. There’s no reason to allow anybody to have second thoughts about that.”