Scroll Top

Zwicker, Gopal Bill Establishing Stabilized School Budget Aid Grant Program Approved by Senate

Trenton – To uphold the quality of New Jersey public schools and support districts experiencing substantial state aid loss, the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Andrew Zwicker and Senator Vin Gopal that establishes the Stabilized School Budget Aid Grant Program in the Department of Education.

“Over 140 districts are experiencing drastic state aid reductions that would require them to make rash cuts to student programs and jobs,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Middlesex/Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon). “Our public schools are the best in the nation. We cannot let them fall into disarray by asking districts to scale back spending year after year. This program is a stopgap that will provide relief to districts for the upcoming school year as we continue to work to find a stable long-term school funding solution.”

The bill, S-3081/A-4161, provides aid grants to eligible school districts of up to 45 percent of the district’s state school aid reductions for the 2024-2025 school year. Eligible districts would include districts proposed to see a state aid reduction in fiscal year 2025. 

“The partial restoration of aid to eligible schools will provide districts some cushion as we continue our transition under the school funding reform act known as S-2,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “We have heard testimony from teachers, students, and parents of these cuts’ devastating impact on their districts for months. This move will give additional support and sustain our standard of delivering high-quality public education.”   

The bill will additionally allow districts to have tax cap flexibility to restore funding loss from the past four years under S-2. The adjusted tax levy would be no more than the difference between a school district’s state aid for the 2024-2025 school year as compared to the 2020-2021 school year.

The bill was approved by the full Senate in a 24-9 vote.