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School Funding in New Jersey
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  1. School Funding in New Jersey Presented by: Edwin Carman NJSBA Senior Lobbyist New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  2. School Funding in 2006 • “CEIFA,” the Comprehensive Educational Improvement and Funding Act of 1996: • a minimum foundation grant program • parity aid for Abbott districts • categorical aid programs • eight (8) separate hold-harmless aid provisions • three (3) programs for aid to low- income children New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  3. How CEIFA Should Work • STATEWIDE: core curriculum standards aid, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and statewide enrollment growth • DISTRICT-LEVEL: core curriculum standards aid determined by the “T&E budget” the “local share” • ADJUSTMENTS: • Supplemental Core Curriculum Standards Aid • Additional Supplemental Core Curriculum Standards Aid • Abbott v. Burke Parity Remedy Aid New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  4. Other CEIFA Aid Categories • TRANSPORTATION • SPECIAL EDUCATION • DEMONSTRABLY EFFECTIVE PROGRAM AID • INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPLEMENT AID • BILINGUAL EDUCATION • EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION • ADULT & POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AID • COUNTY VOCATIONAL PROGRAM AID • HOLD HARMLESS AID • STABILIZATION AID • SUPPLEMENTAL STABILIZATION AID • STABILIZATION AID 2 • SUPPLEMENTAL SCHOOL TAX REDUCTION AID • LARGE AND EFFICIENT DISTRICT AID • OTHER HOLD HARMLESS AID PROGRAMS • TEACHER RETIRMENT AND BENEFITS • TECHNOLOGY • CAPITAL OUTLAY AND DEBT SERVICE New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  5. Why CEIFA No Longer Works The State Government stopped funding the CEIFA formula in 2001-2002. NJ state contribution toward education: < 40% Remainder of costs made up in property tax: > 60% New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  6. NJSBA Policy on School Funding NJSBA believes that New Jersey’s system of financing public schools should enable all local school districts to provide an equal educational opportunity for all children in New Jersey to receive a thorough and efficient education. NJSBA believes that the State should pay at least 50 percent of the statewide total cost of providing a thorough and efficient education for all public elementary and secondary students. NJSBA believes the source of funding for reducing the property tax should be the income tax, the most progressive tax available. New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  7. NJSBA Working For You • Property Taxes in New Jersey: Striking a Balance – an NJSBA-produced video presentation on the need for tax reform. • NJSBA is part of a coalition of education stakeholder groups developing recommendations for a new funding formula. New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  8. How You Can Help Ask Your Legislators 3 Questions: • Will you support the creation of a School Funding Commission, comprised of a broad group of stakeholders to recommend a funding formula to the Legislature and Governor? • Will you support a Special Session -- rather than a Citizen’s Convention -- to reform property taxes? • Will you support a dollar-for-dollar shift from the local property tax to the income tax to balance school taxes? New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  9. Talking Points • A new funding formula is necessary because CEIFA has been rendered non-operational after not running it for five (5) years. • A School Funding Commission will ensure that a new formula is adequate, equitable, flexible and certain. • The Legislature can accomplish property tax reform in less time than it would take a Citizen’s Convention, and with far better outcomes. New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  10. Talking Points • To relieve the property tax burden, the state must increase its share of education funding to at least 50% through a dollar-for-dollar shift from the property tax to the state income tax. • The state income tax is equitable and progressive; it is based on one’s ability to pay. New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  11. Keepin’ it real Use local examples: “Despite little or no increase in state aid, enrollment/utilities/special education costs/health insurance costs in my district has increased by _______% since 2001.” “The families in my district want to support the schools, but have voted down our budget ________ times because of the property tax burden.” New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914

  12. Follow-up • Don’t let the momentum stop after today! • Let NJSBA Lobbyists know what your legislators’ said or promised, so they can follow-up too. • Educate your board on what you learned today and involve your fellow board members in your efforts. • If you promised your legislators additional information to support your discussions, be sure and send it as soon as possible. • Send a thank you note to your legislators, summarizing your discussions today. New Jersey School Boards Association – Serving Local Boards of Education Since 1914