NJ School Districts Get More State Aid

School districts received details yesterday on increases in state aid for the 2011-2012 school year. Star-Ledger coverage here; NJ Spotlight coverage here. Total pot is $850 million, though $447 million is earmarked for Abbott districts, per the State Supreme Court’s ruling that poor urban districts must be fully funded according to the State formula. Both papers have links to district-specific aid numbers.

The Governor’s Office is “strongly urging” non-Abbott districts to use the extra money for property tax relief. However, according Lynn Strickland of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, districts can quickly redraft budgets and submit them by Aug. 15th.

David Sciarra of Education Law Center, primary advocates for Abbott districts, said “it is deeply disappointing that we didn’t get to full funding for all districts. There was broad support in the education community to get that done.” And Steve Wollmer, NJEA spokeman, commented, "Out of that $850 million, almost $500 million was from the court where he fought it tooth and nail. He’s no hero. He did nothing for education funding, except try to gut it."