Governor Murphy Discusses Fully Funding Public Schools - Will Local Schools Benefit?

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In Governor Phil Murphy's Statement this week, he discussed that “Homeowners stand to benefit from reduced property tax rates if schools are fully funded.” So, will our local schools benefit?

Under the revised 2019 School Budget that was released in July 2018, here are the counties and local School Districts that are currently winners or losers in school budget aid.

School Budget Increases/Decreased that are already planned:

County: 2017-18 Total K-12 Aid 2018-19 Governor's Budget Message 2018-19 Approp. Act Revised K-12 Aid One Year K-12 Aid Difference One Year Aid Percent Difference
Atlantic 297,653,550 306,745,116 315,721,365 18,067,815 6.07%
Bergen 226,816,766 239,448,046 267,863,816 41,047,050 18.10%
Burlington 392,687,323 401,827,176 400,015,807 7,328,484 1.87%
Camden 703,285,284 718,064,164 719,707,550 16,422,266 2.33%
Cape May 65,389,579 66,286,798 64,442,467 -947,112 -1.45%
Cumberland 344,142,949 350,034,006 349,394,501 5,251,552 1.53%
Essex 1,223,560,399 1,276,143,068 1,284,610,294 61,049,895 4.99%
Gloucester 287,461,068 296,805,627 294,460,564 6,999,496 2.44%
Hudson 905,871,781 931,490,421 931,033,796 25,162,015 2.78%
Hunterdon 47,598,290 49,073,534 46,380,318 -1,217,972 -2.56%
Mercer 358,597,574 373,690,507 381,681,027 23,083,453 6.44%
Middlesex 580,368,964 605,418,169 622,372,561 42,003,597 7.24%
Monmouth 407,300,244 417,730,149 411,422,987 4,122,743 1.01%
Morris 153,470,045 160,426,230 161,796,495 8,326,450 5.42%
Ocean 305,277,907 310,853,364 300,812,416 -4,465,491 -1.46%
Passaic 752,250,323 787,943,217 795,956,232 43,705,909 5.81%
Salem 90,049,289 92,715,311 92,348,703 2,299,414 2.55%
Somerset 115,993,376 120,938,442 128,681,795 12,688,419 10.94%
Sussex 110,596,714 112,922,492 108,969,843 -1,626,871 -1.47%
Union 662,459,461 693,738,812 702,875,392 40,415,931 6.10%
Warren 103,755,895 105,868,599 105,417,534 1,661,639 1.60%
Totals 8,134,586,781 8,418,163,248 8,485,965,463 351,378,682 4.32%

Local Schools in our Area:

District 2018 Aid 2019 Revised % Change
Hopatcong $11,170,937 $10,728,888 -4.00%
Jefferson $15,852,125 $15,508,649 -2.20%
Mount Arlington $557,623 $615,365 10.40%
Roxbury $13,908,190 $13,722,000 -1.30%

Based upon the plans that are ready set in place Governor Murphy would need to make changes and gain approval for full funding of the Public Schools.

Governor Phil Murphy's Press Release:

WOODBRIDGE – Governor Phil Murphy today visited Ross Street Elementary School in Woodbridge to discuss how full funding of New Jersey’s public schools stands to provide relief for property taxpayers, as well as improve the educational experience for students and educators. For the 2018-2019 school year, State public schools received about $351 million more in state formula aid than they did the previous year. Additionally, 2018 saw the smallest increase in the average statewide property tax on record.

“The State’s investment in schools will have lasting impacts on the lives of homeowners in towns across our State,” said Governor Murphy. “In Woodbridge—and many other communities around New Jersey—school taxes make up more than half of the average property tax bill. This burden cannot continue to rest squarely on the shoulders of our taxpayers and the State must continue to take the necessary steps to pay our fair share and provide property tax relief.”

The previous administration underfunded school aid by over $9 billion over eight years, leaving property taxpayers with the task of making up for lost funding. But, thanks to Governor Murphy’s fiscal year 2019 budget, public schools in Woodbridge received an additional $5 million in formula-based school aid for the 2018-2019 school year, a 17 percent increase from the previous administration’s funding levels. This year Woodbridge reduced its expected school tax growth rate by roughly 30 percent following the final budget agreement.

“Investing in our schools is the right thing to do, not only for the benefit of property tax relief, but to ensure that our students receive the best education possible,” said Governor Murphy. “I can think of no better investment than in our students and educators.”

Governor Murphy also committed to continuing to increase school funding in his fiscal year 2020 budget, a critical step toward property tax reduction.

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