A statewide coalition of school districts being negatively impacted by the reduction of state aid resulting from P.L. 2018, Chapter 67 has been created. This coalition of schools will be bringing its message and concerns to state legislators and the public about the severe and negative impact the state aid reduction will have on students, educational programming and the taxpayers in their districts, according to a press release.
Currently there are 57 districts statewide, representing school districts from 14 counties and more than 138,000 students, that have joined the Support Our Students (SOS) coalition, according to the press release.
The mission statement of the coalition is as follows: “The Support Our Students coalition of school districts throughout the state being negatively impacted by the reduction in state adjustment aid shall advocate with our legislators, and convey our message to the public to ensure that all students continue to receive the quality education they deserve and are entitled to in accordance with the state’s mandate for a thorough and efficient education.
“Our effort shall be sustained and inclusive of all stakeholders, focusing on outcomes that result in educational services and programming being maintained for our school communities while seeking fiscally responsible solutions.”
In the press release, the coalition said it applauds state legislators for their work in increasing funding for school districts throughout the state which were previously not fully funded.
However, in the process of doing so, the resulting legislation will inadvertently have what the coalition said would be dire and unintended consequences for the students in many districts whose state aid will be reduced over the next six years.
SOS has sent a letter to the entire Legislature and to Gov. Phil Murphy requesting that no further reductions be made to state aid allocations until a joint legislative committee be convened that includes representatives from the New Jersey Department of Education and school districts, according to the press release.
School district representatives would include educators from districts whose funding allocations are increasing, district scheduled to lose state aid, and districts whose state aid is not impacted, according to the press release.