children sitting on brown chairs inside the classroom

Murphy Administration Unveils $500 Million for School Projects

New Jersey schools will be able to tap into monies from the state to address infrastructure issues on their campuses.

The Murphy Administration recently unveiled the availability of grant applications for school security, water infrastructure improvements, and enhancement of career and technical education in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges across the Garden State.

The grants will be supported by $500 million in bonds authorized by the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018.

“Investing in our students’ future is an essential part of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press statement. “From critical school security measures to necessary career and technical education training, this new funding will further strengthen our efforts to ensure that students across our state are equipped with the tools and support they need to succeed.”

Provisions Provided Under the Act

The Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act included funding for a variety of projects.

Seventy-five million dollars were earmarked in the act for school security, with a focus on helping districts as they worked to implement provisions prescribed under Alyssa’s Law. Leftover funding could be used for additional security issues.

Water infrastructure was allotted $100 million of the total, and could be used for projects focused on issues of lead in school drinking water, service line replacement, water flushing systems, and fixtures replacement.

Career and technical education (CTE) efforts at the vocational-technical school district level would have access to $275 million, while CTE programs in county colleges would be eligible for a pool of $50 million. The projects would be focused on expanding, building, or renovating facilities.

A Focus on New Jersey’s Students

Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer called the funds  an opportunity for New Jersey to win twice, providing enhanced security and better options for the future.

Additionally, State Senate President Steve Sweeney argued funding form the act would be critical in providing students with high-paying jobs in the future as many viewed bleak prospects due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This landmark legislative initiative will create jobs and provide important stimulus to help our economy rebound from the recession caused by the coronavirus,” Sweeney said.

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