School districts share money woes with senate panel

CLIFFSIDE PARK – A bipartisan state Senate committee tasked with proposing changes to the school funding formula met with officials from Bergen County school districts Tuesday to discuss inequities in aid and their effect on local education.

Testimony from the two-hour hearing, the third of four planned by the eight-member Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, will help form the basis for legislation to improve a school aid system often criticized for overfunding some districts and shortchanging others.

Governor Christie has argued that giving more money to Abbott districts has not resulted in improvements. Jain irrigation share price target Instead, he is calling for a flat sum of $6,599 per student regardless of a district’s location or the area’s income level.

With two weeks left before the governor holds his annual budget address on Feb. Football teams in texas 28, superintendents and school officials from Cliffside Park, Little Ferry, Lodi, Paramus, Wallington and other neighboring districts implored the Senate committee to restore state funding to its intended levels.

In Cliffside Park, enrollment has skyrocketed while state aid has stayed the same. Softball pitching drills for beginners The district grew from 2,775 students in the 2011-12 school year to a projected 3,280 students next year, according to district figures.

“It’s a tremendous strain on the school budget,” Superintendent Michael Romagnino said. Gardenia meaning “We have been successful in passing our school budget the last few years, but with restrictive budget caps, it is not enough to continue to provide our students with a thorough and efficient education without an increase in state aid.”

State aid to Little Ferry has remained relatively flat for the past decade as the community weathered the economic fallout of Superstorm Sandy, a large jump in the number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches, and an increasing demand for bilingual education for its significant immigrant population, officials said.

“Flat funding to districts is a cut, let’s be honest,” said Sen. M. How to pitch a stock Teresa Ruiz, D-Newark, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Waddington ny “Flat funding at a time when all costs are going up creates distress on districts. Patio town … The cost of living, everything else goes up and you still get the same pool of money.”

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-West Deptford, has advocated for a revamp of the 2008 law that would eliminate funding caps for districts with increasing enrollment and end a clause that protects districts from funding cuts because of decreased enrollment or other demographic changes – provisions that were intended to be temporary but were never phased out.

“The system’s broken and we need to fix it,” said Sweeney, the co-chairman of the committee. Fantasy football rankings 2016 ppr “It’s about fairness and right now there’s nothing fair about what we’re doing.”

Sweeney has said his plan would provide full funding to schools under the state formula within five years by also increasing state support for schools by $100 million every year over that period.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has said that Sweeney’s plan could exacerbate funding disparities. Little league softball Prieto is holding separate hearings to examine alternate solutions.

Under Sweeney’s plan, Cliffside Park would receive up to $3 million more in state aid that could then be used to reduce class sizes, add space, update facilities, provide small group instruction and keep pace with changing technology and instruction standards, Romagnino said. Fence masters Each student costs the district $13,000 to $14,000.

Lodi Mayor Emil Carafa, who also is principal of a Lodi Elementary School, said his district is receiving 43 percent of aid owed to the district under the state formula despite rising costs for special education and increased enrollment. Beach landscape photography His school has lost guidance counselors and an elementary band to cope with the shortfall, he said.

Bernadette MacCausland, a Board of Education member in Paramus and vice president of the Garden State Coalition of Schools, said her district was still recovering from the loss of almost $3.7 million in state aid from 2009 to 2011 that forced the elimination of multiple administrator positions.

The Garden State Coalition of Schools, an association of about 100 school districts, estimates that taxpayers in 200 communities are paying $1 billion more than they should be under the formula to fill the gap in state funding. Football games download In the meantime, about $530 million in “adjustment aid” is flowing to districts receiving more than what they should be under the formula based on their student population and property tax base, Sweeney’s office said.

“We’re trying to get everyone at 100 percent funding,” Sweeney said. Front porch building plans “We know the formula’s not perfect, but nowhere did I ever see a district that should be getting 150 percent funded.”

This year’s budget for formula aid is $8 billion, $1.5 billion less than required under full funding, Sweeney’s office said. Backyard baseball 2007 Roughly a third of the state budget is dedicated to public schools.