Thanks to the relentless advocacy of NJEA members and staff, the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget is a huge victory for public education and public school employees. The budget:

• Makes a $3.2 billion pension payment. This pension payment is larger than all of the payments made in the previous administration’s first term.

• Fully funds NJEA members’ post-retirement medical premiums.

• Provides the largest increase in public education funding in state history.

• Expands access to preschool.

• Increases funding for county colleges and makes college more affordable.

• Raises the revenue we need to meet the state’s obligations and increases tax fairness. It does this by:

      o Raising the tax rate on those earning more than $5 million per year to 10.75 percent, up from the current 8.97 percent.

      o Including a four-year increase in the corporate business tax, imposing a surcharge on all companies earning more than $1 million per year.

In addition, any district notified of a reduction in state aid that was able to demonstrate fiscal distress, had the opportunity to apply for additional state assistance. However, that action must have been taken by Aug. 1, 2018, a very tight timeline for many districts. NJEA Research acted quickly to inform UniServ field representatives and provided guidance and resources to assist district administrators to apply to the New Jersey Department of Education for resources.

Through advocacy, expertise and strong political relationships, NJEA members and staff helped deliver a state budget that puts the needs of students and educators first. Following the successful resolution of an at-times contentious state budget cycle, NJEA publicly thanked Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for their commitment to public education and public school employees.

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