School districts in Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge may face significant cuts in state aid in wake of pandemic

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School districts in Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge may face significant cuts in school state aid for the 2020-21 school year in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Phil Murphy has proposed cutting $335 million in his 2020-21 school funding budget proposal.

The Edison Board of Education approved its $277.19 million 2020-21 budget at a meeting on May 6 with the expectation of receiving $27.82 million in state aid, an increase of $4.46 million from 2019-20.

With the proposed cuts, the Edison School District would receive $24.35 million, a $2.97 million reduction for the district.

“A reduction in state aid of almost $3 million is significant,” Edison Schools Superintendent Bernard Bragen said. “We will work with our board of education to mitigate this impact and try to reduce the effect on our educational programming.”

The Metuchen Board of Education adopted its $42.47 million budget at a meeting on April 28 with the expectation of receiving $1.8 million in state aid, an increase of $263,750 from 2019-20

With the proposed cuts, the Metuchen School District would receive $1.62 million, a $179,934 reduction for the district.

Metuchen Schools Business Administrator Michael Harvier said the board has not received any guidance from the state and has not made any decisions on the proposed cuts.

The Woodbridge Board of Education adopted its $263.66 million budget at a meeting on April 30 with the expectation of receiving $53.24 million in state aid, an increase of $11.9 million from 2019-20.

With the proposed cuts, the Woodbridge School District would receive $45.12 million, an $8.12 million reduction for the district.

“Of course any cuts to the budget we proposed earlier this spring will be disappointing,” Woodbridge Schools Superintendent Robert Zega said. “We will make the best of the situation and provide the best instruction for all students. Our staff has done an outstanding job, innovating and adapting during our school closure, and I would expect nothing less should we have to do more with less next year.”