N.J. Governor Seeks to Overhaul School Financing
New Jersey’s governor has proposed a controversial school finance formula that would eliminate the special-needs-district designation that has brought billions of dollars in extra assistance to the state’s poorest urban school systems.
The plan , released Nov. 30, suggests adopting a statewide formula that is designed to gear aid to the relative needs of students and their communities’ ability to pay for their education. Currently, New Jersey policymakers adjust school funding for some districts based on enrollment growth, and for others by specific need, without any overarching formula applied to all 616 of the state’s districts.
The state’s poorest 31 urban districts get money through a unique calculation generated by a long-running state supreme court case called Abbott v. Burke . It guarantees them funding on a par with the state’s wealthiest districts, and additional money for facilities and a broad array of programs...
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