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Zwicker Bill Enabling Financial Relief to Certain Schools Experiencing State Aid Reductions Advances


TRENTON – School districts scheduled to receive reduced State aid will be able to fund critical instructional programs and maintain teaching staff thanks to legislation authored by Senator Andrew Zwicker. The Senate Education Committee advanced the legislation today.

“By allowing for adjustments to the tax levy cap, this legislation ensures that our schools can maintain quality education and services despite financial constraints imposed by law,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Middlesex/Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon). “It’s about providing our districts with the flexibility they need to address unique financial challenges without compromising on our commitment to excellence in education.”

Under current law, a school district is generally prohibited from increasing its property tax levy by more than two percent compared to the previous school year. The bill, S-2434, would provide that the amount of the allowable adjustment for school districts experiencing State school aid reductions would be equal to the difference between the amount of State aid received by the district in the previous school year and the amount of State aid received in the 2023-2024 school year or the 2024-2025 school year.

Another allowable adjustment would be permitted under the bill for a school district that is experiencing a reduction in State school aid and is spending below adequacy in any school year after the 2024-2025 school year. Spending below adequacy means the district is not spending the funds necessary to achieve a thorough and efficient education for every student as calculated by the State. For these districts, the allowable adjustment to the tax levy would be the amount necessary to make up for this difference.

Finally, the bill would prohibit any school district that increases its tax levy from reducing its teacher workforce or decreasing appropriations for instruction or support services.

The legislation advanced out of committee in a 4-1 vote.