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Gov. Murphy releases N.J. school aid numbers, touting $337 million increase

(StudioDin/BigStock)

(StudioDin/BigStock)

New Jersey school districts can now see how much state funding to expect next year, after Gov. Phil Murphy announced the aid levels Thursday morning.

Cities and towns across the Garden State eagerly anticipate the school funding announcement, especially after the state changed its school funding formula in 2018 and altered how districts share state money.

Murphy said that an overall increase in “formula aid” — $337 million more than last year — would help lower the cost of property taxes, which are largely driven by local education costs.

“This is good news for everyone, because every dollar of new school aid from the state is direct property tax relief,” he said.

Although local property taxes may drop as a result of increased state funding, there is no requirement that a bump in state aid be offset by property tax reductions.

Murphy also proposed in the state budget he announced Tuesday an additional $50 in so-called stabilization aid, which he said will help districts that have seen their funding drop under the new formula and are trying to adjust to their new financial situation.

Frank Belluscio, deputy executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association, said the organization was still reviewing Murphy’s budget proposal and next year’s funding allocations.

“NJSBA will be examining the proposed budget in detail, along with the state aid numbers, to develop a position that will be presented to the Assembly and Senate Budget committees,” he said.

Budget hearings will begin the coming weeks, and Murphy must sign a budget by the June 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

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