Increased Funding for Education and Full Pension Payment
This proposal is full of good news for New Jersey and for the education community!
The NJ Principals and Supervisors Association is pleased to see the Governor’s continued commitment to the value of public education by proposing a $700 million total increase in public school investment. This represents a SFRA increase of $578 million in K-12 school funding and a more than $50 million increase in pre-K funding, including $26 million for districts to start new programs. The proposal also includes a $25 million increase for Extraordinary Special Education Aid, a new $75 million grant fund within the School Development Authority, and $4.5 million in school-based wraparound services.
The increase in formula aid, pre-K funding and other aid categories, as well as pension and health benefit payments would provide a total of $18.1 billion in funding for pre-k to 12 education, which represents a total increase of $1.74 billion over this current year.
Also, Governor Murphy’s budget proposes a $6.4 billion payment to the state pension plan, which represents a $1.6 billion increase over this year’s payment and would be the first full pension payment since 1996. We strongly commend the Governor’s commitment to educators and all public workers. This payment is another important step in efforts to correct a decades-long crisis of underfunding public employee pension systems. This pension funding commitment provides financial stability and predictability to all those who choose to dedicate their professional careers to our students or other forms of public service.
Patricia Wright, Executive Director of the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association, speaking on behalf of school leaders statewide commended Governor Murphy for his strong commitment to New Jersey students, families, educators and communities, “Governor Murphy has once again shown his commitment to New Jersey’s students and communities through his strong budget proposal addressing so many critical social needs. We thank him for his proactive investments in early childhood education, his deep investment in our schools statewide and his recognition of the needs of our most vulnerable students. This budget truly reflects what New Jersey needs at a critical moment in time, and we look forward to working with our State Legislature as the process continues.”
The Governor’s Budget Address is the first step in the budget process. The Legislature will conduct hearings over the next several months before proposing and passing a final budget to submit to the Governor for his signature before the Fiscal year 2022 begins on July 1. As school districts await the release of their state aid figures, NJPSA will review the Budget Proposal in more detail. Over the course of the next four months, NJPSA will be advocating for our members on all issues that impact our schools and most importantly, our children. Stay tuned!