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Tinton Falls school board dips into reserves to accommodate loss in state aid

TINTON FALLS – The Tinton Falls School District Board of Education will withdraw $230,000 from its emergency reserve to accommodate a sudden reduction in state aid. The emergency appropriation will be used to finance a portion of the 2018-19 school budget.

Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s initial proposal in March, the district’s state aid package for the 2018-19 school year was expected to total $3.69 million. Using that number and following directives from state officials, district administrators crafted a $31.8 million budget for the upcoming school year.

In July, following negotiations with leaders in the state Legislature, Murphy signed a bill into law which revises the way state aid is distributed to New Jersey’s school districts.

“After years of neglect, we are turning the page to bring a balanced approach to school aid by removing the growth cap on funding increases and finally beginning the process of fully implementing the state’s school funding formula established in 2008,” Murphy said in a statement following the bill’s enactment into law.

However, as a result of that action in Trenton, Tinton Falls’ state aid for the upcoming school year was immediately reduced to $3.46 million.

On July 23, board members decided that rather than making any reductions to the budget, they would cover the entire $230,000 reduction by taking that exact amount from the district’s emergency reserves and putting that money into the budget.

Business Administrator Vin Daniels and Superintendent of Schools Lisa Goldey did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

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