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School administrators throughout the state were holding their collective breath leading up to Gov. Christie’s 2017 budget address.
“Where would state aid stand?” was the question on everyone’s mind. If state aid went down considerably, how hard would it hit the school district’s bottom line?
Come last week, though, these same administrators were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Christie announced his budget proposal wouldn’t reduce aid to any school district.
Overall, Christie’s proposed budget includes $13.8 billion toward education, $9.2 billion of which would be direct aid to school districts. That’s an increase over last year of $16.1 million.
The good news for school districts like ours, which doesn’t receive the bulk of state aid to public schools anyway, is that we will not lose any state aid from last year.
While we certainly could have used more help from the Garden State, it’s comforting to know we won’t have to kick in more money out of our already thin pockets.
But while our school district won’t be losing any aid this year, the future beyond 2017–2018 is anyone’s guess.
When the next governor enters office in January, how he or she approaches public education funding could change the landscape for years — much like Christie did when he changed the school funding formula back in 2008.
So while school district administrators are likely relieved not to lose state aid this year, they should all be prepared for some sort of change in the near future.