Dancer calls on governor to use surplus to avoid school aid cuts

Dancer calls on governor to use surplus to avoid school aid cuts

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – Schools that saw a reduction in state aid can apply for stabilization grants through the New Jersey Department of Education. Assemblyman Ron Dancer applauds Gov. Phil Murphy for offering $50 million in such grants to help impacted districts adjust to their new funding levels and rehire and retrain teachers.

In addition, Dancer is asking that the governor provide more for the nearly 200 school districts that saw state aid cut by the 2018 funding formula changes.

“I commend the governor for including this grant money in the 2022 budget. We need to do all we can to keep New Jersey schools among the best in the nation, and to help property taxpayers,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “Knowing that, and knowing the challenges that lie ahead, I’m calling on Gov. Murphy to provide more stabilization funding to keep our schools on top and keep property taxes from rising unnecessarily.”

Dancer wants the governor to tap into the unexpected $10 billion surplus the state pocketed after record revenues were collected in April and May, $4 billion more than projected. The 200 districts will see more than $600 million in adjustment aid cuts over seven years, while other districts will see their state aid increase.

The grants – Stabilization Aid and Education Rescue grants – are available to those districts that can show they saw a reduction in aid, “face a structural budgetary imbalance,” or lost staff due to aid cuts. Those districts must submit in writing a detailed plan of how they will maintain operations in the coming years without this supplemental state aid.

“Our children’s education and extracurriculars have been dramatically interrupted by the Covid-19 shutdowns,” Dancer said. “As we return to some semblance of normal, let’s ensure that all our students can have access to all the tools they need to succeed. With this enormous surplus, we can avoid unneeded cuts to our schools.”