N.J, lags on funding for school districts to carry out anti-bullying law

New Jersey schools are getting only a portion of the money they sought to implement the state’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.

The state allocated a million dollars to help school districts pay for personnel and training after the Council on Local Mandates ruled in January that New Jersey’s anti-bullying law is an unconstitutional unfunded mandate on school districts.

Districts are getting far less than the $5 million in grants they wanted, according to Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association.

“You do have a case of an unfunded requirement in local school districts. We are going to have to see where we go further on this, but at this point it does show the amount of money provided was not adequate to implement this bill,” he said Tuesday.

Rather than selecting individual districts to get the money, the state decided to give each of those requesting the grants about 20 percent of their eligible expenses.

That amounts to thousands of dollars for some of them, while half received less than $1,200.

Belluscio says it’s uncertain whether districts will take additional legal action to try to get the money to cover their expenses.

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