TRENTON, N.J. – Long-time critic of Gov. Phil Murphy’s school funding formula, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin is calling on Murphy to reverse plans to cut nearly $240 million from districts to pay for the $10.75 billion for schools in his proposed budget.
“Increased funding for schools shouldn’t come at the expense of other children’s education. All children deserve a thorough and efficient education, but Murphy’s budget and funding formula picks winners and losers,” McGuckin (R-Ocean) said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken from Ocean County school districts to increase funding in Democrat districts. If Murphy really wants to address the learning loss all students experienced from his draconian lockdowns, he has to fully fund all schools.”
Murphy’s fiscal year 2024 budget increases school aid by $832 million, but cuts so-called overfunded school districts under the controversial S2 funding formula. This budget proposal represents the sixth year of the seven-year phase in of the funding formula.
“Toms River, the largest suburban school district in the state, has lost over 100 million in state aid in just five years. Brick loses seven figures in state funding a year. It is not sustainable,” McGuckin argued. “Murphy touts his historic school funding, but it is costing 30% of New Jersey’s schools millions of dollars a year.”
Currently, the state only has to cover the difference between a school’s adequacy budget and the local cost share, which is known as equalization aid. The only schools operating over their adequacy budgets consequently have the highest property taxes in the state.
“The burden to fully fund schools shouldn’t fall on property taxpayers and the $10 billion budget surplus shouldn’t be squandered on election-year favors. It should support the schools struggling to keep teachers and provide a high-quality education despite year-after-year of cuts,” McGuckin said.