Governor Murphy Signs Bills to Mitigate School Funding Cuts


New bills provide $44.7 million in aid and allow delayed budget submissions to help districts adjust to the final phase of S2 funding reductions.

NEW JERSEY - Governor Phil Murphy has signed two significant pieces of legislation aimed at assisting New Jersey school districts as they prepare their budgets for the 2024-2025 school year. 

The first bill, A4161, seeks to increase funding for districts facing reductions in aid under the S2 law, which is in its final year of a seven-year phase-in according to the School Funding Reform Act.

Key Provisions of A4161:

  • Establishes the Stabilized School Budget Aid Grant Program within the Department of Education.
  • Provides grants covering 45% of a district’s state aid reduction for the 2024-2025 school year.
  • Allocates $44.7 million to support the grant program.
  • Allows certain districts experiencing state aid reductions to request property tax levy increases beyond the current 2% cap.

The sponsors of A4161 include Senators Andrew Zwicker and Vin Gopal, and Assembly members Roy Freiman, Mitchelle Drulis, Pamela Lampitt, and Andrea Katz. Governor Murphy emphasized that the Commissioner of Education will conduct a comprehensive review to ensure the additional funding is used responsibly by the school districts.

“Over 140 districts are experiencing drastic state aid reductions that would require them to make rash cuts to student programs and jobs,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “Our public schools are the best in the nation. We cannot let them fall into disarray by asking districts to scale back spending year after year. This program is a stopgap that will provide relief to districts for the upcoming school year as we continue to work to find a stable long-term school funding solution."

The second bill, A4059, gives the Commissioner of Education the authority to permit certain school districts experiencing state aid reductions to submit their budgets up to five days after the enactment of the FY2025 appropriations act.

Key Provisions of A4059:

  • Extends the budget submission deadline for affected school districts.
  • Clarifies that state aid notices were distributed in February 2024.

The sponsors of A4059 include Senator James Beach and Assembly members Pamela Lampitt, Sterley Stanley, and Andrea Katz.

“Several districts are facing double-digit percentage state funding cuts compared to last year, and we have a responsibility to give them time to adjust,” said Senator James Beach. “As the Legislature seeks to identify additional aid for these districts through the annual budget process, it is only fair that we provide additional time for them to submit their budgets, so they can be finalized with complete information."

In his signing statement for A4059, Governor Murphy clarified the timeline for state aid notices, ensuring school districts are informed well in advance.

These legislative measures are designed to provide immediate relief and long-term stability for school districts, ensuring they can effectively manage their finances and continue to provide quality education to students across New Jersey.

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