No Fast Fixes For New Jersey’s Deeply Flawed School Funding
Originally appeared in NJ Spotlight
By Meir Rinde
July 15, 2016
Is your district getting all the aid that’s coming to it, or is it one of many that’s being shortchanged?
No one is happy with the way New Jersey funds its schools, thanks in part to a state aid system that has become badly distorted in recent years. Some districts, are awarded more aid than they should be under the state formula, while others are consistently shortchanged. (Use our interactive database to see if your district is getting more aid — or less — than it should.)
Many experts say the system is unfair and outdated — and that now is the time to redress its shortcomings.
A recent proposal by Gov. Chris Christie to level funding across the state has electrified the debate. Politicians from wealthy — and some not so wealthy — suburban towns are cheering the idea, while others accuse the governor of pulling a political stunt.
The Christie proposal is also complicating a new effort led by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Education chair Teresa Ruiz to reform the school-funding formula, which was developed eight years ago but never fully implemented.