Two day after his budget address, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the administration’s school budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024.
Appearing at Montgomery’s Upper Middle School in Skillman on March 2, the Governor used the occasion to highlight his plan to increase school aid by an additional $1 billion dollars over last year’s budget, bringing the total school aid package to $20.5 billion in school funding.
The amount includes funding from pre-K through 12, along with pension and benefits funding for school staff, and an increase of $832 million in total K-12 formula aid. The additional funding will also help increase the state’s education workforce and support the academic recovery effort caused by the effects of COVID-19, along with increasing the availability of college-level courses in high schools.
Murphy Announces $20.5 Billion in School Funding
“My administration remains committed to providing students throughout our state with the world-class education they deserve,” said Murphy. “Ensuring equitable access to high-quality education not only prepares our children for successful futures – it benefits us in the here and now. Investments in education represent investments in working families, school communities, and so much more.”
“This year’s budget proposal demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working towards fully funding our schools, expanding pre-K throughout the state, growing our educator workforce, and promoting the success of our students.”
Breakdown by County
In North Jersey, all seven counties are slated to receive more state aid then they did last year. Essex County will receive the most aid at $1.8 billion, a rise of 9.5%.
Morris County will have the largest percentage increase at 16.1%, receiving $30.6 million more from last year for an overall total of $220.9 million.
In order of greatest aid after Essex, Passaic County will receive $1.0 billion, up 7.7%, followed by Hudson County at $810.6 million (up 0.7%), Bergen County at $451.2 million (up 13.4%), Warren County at $111.6 million (up 6.1%), and Sussex County at $82.5 million (up 2.2%).
Murphy’s Budget Commitment
Additionally, recent federal funding of $120 million dollars announced by the governor will help help expand preschool infrastructure throughout the state will directly benefit nearly 12,000 children in over 160 school districts within the Garden State.
State Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), who formerly chaired the upper chamber’s education committee, said Murphy’s proposal continues to reinforce Democrat efforts to invest in families such as by doubling the child tax credit, expedditutes for in student mental health and “bringing us closer to fully funding our schools.”
“I am grateful to have the Governor as a partner in our continued efforts to address the teacher shortage, expand access to early childhood education and bolster the childcare infrastructure,” said Ruiz. “I look forward to the budget discussions and continuing the critical work of repairing and building new schools and ensuring the state has a robust plan in place to address the learning loss that has compounded over the last three years.”
“These efforts underscore our commitment as a state to invest in the next generation and work towards a day when all of our students and families have access to the highest quality education in the country regardless of where they live in this state.”
Doubling the Child Tax Credit
The 2024 budget plan marks the sixth straight year of a seven-year plan to fully fund New Jersey’s school districts. The funding formula was designed to address those school districts that require additional financial and or logistics support. By adding $832 million in K-12 formula aid, the governor is proposing to maintain the phase-in as planned for FY2024.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said “the robust funding for education is beneficial for students, their schools and their home communities.”
Sarlo continued, “It supports a quality education with state financing that helps to hold down local taxes. This is an investment in educational opportunity that’s good for the taxpayers.”
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, added “Any investment into the education of our children is an investment worth making. These are comprehensive steps to ensuring students post pandemic needs are met and also preparing them for the future. I look forward to reviewing the Governor’s proposed budget in the weeks and months ahead.”