State Provides Flat Funding For City Schools
Sunday, March 3, 2013 • 9:59am
PATERSON, NJ – Paterson Public Schools will get an extra $1.3 million in state aid for the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to an announcement made last week by officials in Trenton.
City education advocates say the modest increase won’t keep up with rising costs. “When you look at everything that’s going up, it’s actually a decrease,’’ said Paterson school board member Errol Kerr, chairman of the finance committee.
The district’s total aid will rise from $397,980,917 this year to $399,287,859 next, according to the state’s figures. That amounts to an increase of about one-third of one percentage point.
The district has not yet unveiled its preliminary 2013-14 budget. In recent years, Paterson Public Schools has been relying on using money from reserve accounts to balance the budget, a practice that officials have warned will have to end very soon when that cash runs out.
Kerr said the extra $1.3 million won’t cover the money the district will have to provide for the operations of the new charter school opening in Paterson in September, an expense he put at $6 million.
This marked the first time in four years that no school district in the state will have its funding cut, according to a Star-Ledger story. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/no_district_will_have_state_ai.htmlThe story said two-thirds of the state’s districts will get increased funding, but that many of those increases were nominal. For example, the story said 129 districts, like Paterson, will get increase of less than one percent, including 40 districts in which the increase will be a single dollar.
In his press release on school funding, Gov. Christie said the $9 billion in state aid being awarded represented the highest level of state funding fork-12 education in state history. The increase is $97.3 million more than fiscal 2013, his press release said.