Supplemental aid to districts with significant enrollment growth.

NJEA supports S-1792 (Sweeney).  The bill would provide a supplemental appropriation of more than $4 million from Property Tax Relief to the Department of Education to provide additional state aid to school districts that have experienced significant enrollment growth.

The bill is intended to make FY2012 school aid allocated to non-Abbott districts fairer by increasing aid to “super-growth” districts on a per pupil basis that more closely parallels aid to other districts that did not experience rapid enrollment growth.  The legislation would apply to districts where the projected resident enrollment for October 2011 exceeds the actual October 2008 resident enrollment by at least 13%.  “Super-growth” districts in Gloucester, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic and Salem counties qualify, with growth of at least 13%.

NJEA supports the bill because it utilizes limited state resources in difficult economic times to provide needed financial support to at least some of the districts hit hard by the current administration’s haphazard distribution of state school aid.  The additional aid to these qualifying districts would be used to restore programs and resources—including teachers and support personnel—to maintain the quality of education during difficult economic times.

This bill, unfortunately, does not increase aid for other districts that also experienced significant enrollment growth since October 2008, but which did not reach the 13% growth threshold.  NJEA urges the legislature to consider providing much needed assistance to these districts as well.

NJEA urges you to support S-1792.