Trenton – To ensure the school funding formula is meeting the needs of school districts, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Dawn Addiego to establish the School Funding Formula Evaluation Task Force.
“As it is written, the School Funding Reform Act requires the formula to be evaluated every three years, but only certain provisions are considered,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “This legislation would expand upon this to take a much deeper look at the formula and whether it still reflects the true cost of education in New Jersey.”
The bill, S-3617, would establish a task force to study, evaluate and if needed suggest changes to the School Funding Reform Act of 2008. The task force would assess the various weights applied to different student characteristics, as well as the provision of special education aid.
“One of our main focuses in drafting this bill was ensuring districts are getting the funding they need to serve students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Senator Addiego (D-Burlington/Camden/Atlantic). “Currently, all special education funding is based on the state average enrollment, which means districts with a greater share of special education students are not receiving sufficient funding. This legislation will have a meaningful impact on the schools going above and beyond to uplift this vulnerable population.”
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 38-0.