School districts keep more surplus, face fewer budget restrictions under Dancer bill signed into law

School districts keep more surplus, face fewer budget restrictions under Dancer bill signed into law

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill giving school districts more control over their budgets for the current and following academic years. The new law allows schools to maintain a surplus of 4% instead of 2%, and allows them to transfer those funds between line items in their budgets without approval from the Commissioner of Education.

“Our schools faced unprecedented challenges this year while incurring inconceivable costs that they had no ability to plan for in their budgets,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “As school districts put together their budgets for next year, they may have to respond to changing guidance on coronavirus safety measures. We need to give our schools more flexibility to design their budgets to fit their needs so we can safely get students back into the classroom. This law will empower a school district to make quicker budgetary decisions that will allow them to ensure a productive learning environment.”

The law (S2691) takes effect immediately and will apply to the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.