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The 20 N.J. school districts most dependent on state funding

March 27, 2017

NJ.com Post

By Adam Clark

February 28, 2017 (click here for liink)

 

TRENTON -- When Gov. Chris Christie delivers his 2018 budget address on Tuesday, New Jersey school officials will be listening especially closely. 

How Christie will address education funding is the biggest question about his final budget, leaving administrators bracing for the possibility of funding cuts.

There's some concern Christie could follow through with the "Fairness Formula," a plan he unveiled last summer to give every district $6,599 per student regardless of income or other needs. Though many education groups are convinced Christie won't do that, they still don't have high hopes for increases in school funding. 

"I'm not expecting any good news in the budget," said Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.

 

New Jersey spends more than $9 billion a year on public schools using a formula that considers each community's ability to raise revenue through property taxes.

It expects wealthier communities to pay a higher percentage of school costs with their own tax dollars and gives school districts extra money for students from low-income families. 

That means some school districts rely almost entirely on the state for revenue, while local tax payers shoulder the majority of the burden for other districts. In other words, some districts have a lot more at stake in the state budget. 

The figures come from the state's Taxpayers Guide to Education Spending. 

Most of the districts that rely heavily on state aid were represented in the landmark Abbott vs. Burke court case, which guarantees a high level of state funding to urban and low-income districts.

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