TRENTON, N.J. – A week ago the federal Department of Education sent a letter to the Murphy administration requiring them to return funding to school districts that faced cuts despite being high poverty or high need districts.
Assemblywomen-elect Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno said they are glad Murphy’s feet are being held to the fire for cutting aid to children who need it.
“Governor Murphy always rides his high horse of moral superiority to anyone who disagrees with him,” said Eulner (R-Monmouth). “The chickens are coming home to roost. His school funding plans have done more harm than good to over a third of school districts in the state, and particularly for many schools in Monmouth County.”
Four school districts to be represented by Piperno and Eulner would receive reimbursements for funding cuts under the federal directive, including Asbury Park and Neptune Township, which will receive the second and fourth most funding – $12,973,487 and $3,501,957, respectively, according to the Education Law Center. Allenhurst School District – $10,471, Deal School District – $47,192, and Neptune City – $244,828, could also be reimbursed.
“The school funding formula is an aberration that underfunded schools and now cuts funding to high-poverty and high-need school districts,” said Piperno (R-Monmouth). “We represent ten school districts that are losing funding. That is unacceptable. Every school should be fully funded without forcing some schools to go backwards. That is one of our major priorities in the Assembly.”
Schools in the 11th Legislative District are slated to lose a combined $38.4 million in state aid under legislation (S-2) passed three years ago, having already lost $26.6 million. Over the next three years, those schools will lose another $12 million in aid.
Districts also losing state aid include Eatontown Boro, Freehold Regional, Monmouth Regional, Ocean Township, and Tinton Falls.
If the Murphy administration does not return the funding to Allenhurst, Asbury, Deal and Neptune schools, New Jersey could lose $2.5 billion in aid from the American Rescue Plan Act.