Jennie Lamon, Assistant Director of Government Relations
Governor Murphy delivered his revised COVID-hit budget on Tuesday, August 25th at SHI Stadium, at Rutgers University in Piscataway. As you know, the pandemic prompted the State to move the April tax filing deadline to July and, resultantly, to extend the fiscal year from the normal June 30th ending to September 30th. The Legislature enacted a nearly $8 billion stopgap spending bill to cover the months of July, August and September. Therefore, the budget that the Legislature will now consider addresses state finances for a shortened, 9 month fiscal year (October 1st – June 30, 2021).
Governor Murphy announced that funding for school districts will remain consistent with the figures announced in the July 8th notices. The Governor said there will be no increase in K-12 formula aid, but will keep it stable at last year’s fiscal level. Reductions made by S-2 will continue, but not increase.
The proposed revised budget proposal also includes:
- almost $68 million in new funds over FY2020 for preschools in New Jersey;
- a $50M allocation to virtual learning, as schools prepare for reopening in September;
- $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) funding to ensure schools can reopen safely;
- $400,000 in funding to continue support for STEM Dual Enrollment and Early College High School funding (which led to the launch of P-TECH schools across New Jersey);
- $800,000 for the Computer Science for All initiative to support the goal of increasing student access to cutting-edge computer science instruction; and
- $750,000 to continue the Minority Teacher Development Grants designed to diversify the teacher pipeline. (The grants are referred to as the “High Poverty School District Minority Teacher Recruitment Program” in the budget.)