Home About GSCS What's New Issues School Funding Coming Up
Quick Links
Meeting Schedule
NJ Legislature
Governor's Office
NJ Department of Education
State Board of Education
GSCS Testimonies
GSCS Data & Charts
Contact Us

Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
             732-618-5755 (cell)

Mailing Address:
Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

Search
Twitter

3-1-13 State Aid and Charters - In the News
NJ Spotlight - Gov. Chris Christie’s election-year state aid package for New Jersey’s public schools looks like it has a little bit for almost everyone -- or at least not any less for anyone. “Looks flat here, which I have been conditioned to be grateful for,” said James Crisfield, superintendent of Millburn schools, which saw no increase at all on its $1.9 million aid from the state… “…Overall, people are relieved that funding is stabilized with flat funding at the very least, and increases for districts, such as those that are at 10 percent or more under adequacy is important,” said Lynne Strickland, executive director of the Garden State Coalition of Schools. “Being that is an election year as well, we are optimistic these aid levels will not be lessened and may even be increased under the legislative process with the Appropriations Act for FY14,” she added

Star Ledger -No N.J. school district will have state aid cut next year; 40 districts increase of $1

NJ Spotlight - State Renews 13 Charter Schools But Flunks Three Others…Several win approval but are put on probation or have expansion plans rejected

Star Ledger - Charter schools in Jersey City, Atlantic City and Hammonton set to close

NJ Spotlight - Gov. Chris Christie’s election-year state aid package for New Jersey’s public schools looks like it has a little bit for almost everyone -- or at least not any less for anyone.

Putting FY14 School Aid on the Map

The state Department of Education yesterday put out the breakdown of $8.7 billion in proposed state school aid for fiscal 2014, and the numbers lived up to Christie's message of austerity.

While the overall increase statewide was 1 percent, only about 300 districts were seeing any increases of note at all, according to the figures. That’s fewer than the 378 districts Christie cited in his budget address on Tuesday. The difference: more than 70 districts will get a bump of less than $100; 40 are scheduled to get a single dollar more.

There's no single explanation for how the aid was determined for all 580 districts. The governing factor was the state’s complex funding formula, which differs for each district.

For instance, the biggest dollar increases were actually in some of the urban districts that Christie has been prone to criticize, like Camden and Elizabeth. All but two of the urban districts falling under the Abbott v. Burke school equity rulings received at least some additional money.

Meanwhile, many of the state’s cash-strapped middle-income districts also got something extra, thanks to a new funding stream for those spending at least 10 percent below the level that the state defines through its formula as being “adequate” for each district. More than 130 districts qualify for the new funding.

Statewide, 30 districts saw double-digit percentage increases, although not for the same reasons. Many of the increases were due to the state’s interdistrict choice program, in which outside students help fill empty seats.

The tiny Beach Haven district saw a threefold increase in aid, but virtually all of the $60,000 was earmarked for interdistrict choice.

Still, with some well-to-do districts getting a little something, too, and none seeing cuts, many school leaders seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

“Looks flat here, which I have been conditioned to be grateful for,” said James Crisfield, superintendent of Millburn schools, which saw no increase at all on its $1.9 million aid from the state.

It was a message that the Christie administration wanted to get out there, especially when others are facing a more dire future. The state also announced next year's municipal aid figures: There were no increases and no cuts.

“New Jersey ranks in the top three in the country with its per-pupil spending on public education, and this year’s proposed budget continues that trend,” said state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf in announcing the aid figures.

“But it takes more than money to provide an effective education, and we will continue to focus on ways to support our educators, districts and schools in order to ensure all of our students receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the expectations of college and careers in the 21st century."

Others weren’t giving up hope that there could be at least a little more money through the Legislative review of the budget in the coming months.

“Overall, people are relieved that funding is stabilized with flat funding at the very least, and increases for districts, such as those that are at 10 percent or more under adequacy is important,” said Lynne Strickland, executive director of the Garden State Coalition of Schools.

“Being that is an election year as well, we are optimistic these aid levels will not be lessened and may even be increased under the legislative process with the Appropriations Act for FY14,” she added

Star Ledge -No N.J. school district will have state aid cut next year; 40 districts increase $1

By Jessica Calefati/The Star-LedgerThe Star-Ledger
on March 01, 2013 at 6:45 AM

TRENTON — For the first time in four years, no public school district will see its state aid cut by the Christie administration, according to statistics released Thursday by the state Department of Education.

Two-thirds of the state’s districts will get increased funding, but in most cases, the bumps are modest. Next school year, funding in 129 districts will increase by less than 1 percent. In 40 districts — including Westfield, South Brunswick and Nutley — the increase seemed a bit cosmetic: they got $1 more than they received this year, but the general feeling was at least it’s not a cut.

Gov. Chris Christie talks to a class at Bordentown Regional High School in 2012. Christie released his 2014 budget, including nearly $9 billion in education funding, this week. District-by-district state aid figures were released today.Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger

Overall, Christie plans to spend $97.3 million more on the state’s public schools in fiscal year 2014, bringing total K-12 school spending to nearly $9 billion. During his budget address earlier this week, Christie said the money must come with a commitment to spend the cash more wisely.

"Throughout my time in office, I have continuously argued that in order to grow New Jersey’s economy we must invest in education," Christie said in a statement.

HOW MUCH AID IS YOUR DISTRICT GETTING?

See the chart below, which includes every school district in New Jersey.

"However, even as we continue to fund education at the highest levels in state history, we must remain willing to reflect on how we are spending our money and work towards solutions that make every dollar we invest count," he added.

With the possibility of federal sequestration cuts and potential expensive school security enhancements looming, Christie’s announcement was welcome news, said Frank Belluscio, acting deputy executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

"The fact that the state increased overall funding this year is very important and is appreciated," Belluscio said.

In Florham Park, the state aid increase is one dollar, from $466,423 to $466,424.

Superintendent William Ronzitti said he was pleased with the aid allocation. The economy is still struggling and many school districts have not recovered from Hurricane Sandy, he said.

"We weren’t cut, and that’s a good thing. That means we don’t have to look at our budget and cut programs," he said. "I think the fact the governor was able to keep us essentially flat was a very good thing for the children."

Eighteen districts will get funding increases of more than $1 million, including East Orange, New Brunswick and Elizabeth.

Morris Hills Regional will see its funding increase by $1.1 million compared with last year, an increase of 17.7 percent, but all of that money comes from its participation in the interdistrict public school choice program, which Christie expanded in 2010.

Morris County’s regional high school district is not the only one whose overall aid bump is heavily padded with interdistrict choice funding. Among the 378 districts with funding increases, 60 will get interdistrict-choice aid that is greater than or equal to their overall funding boosts.

Some members of the Legislature and school reform advocates have lashed out at Christie in recent weeks for proposing to spend less on students who are poor, learning English or classified as special needs. It’s unclear if those cuts are reflected in this year’s budget.

 

 

NJ Spotlight - State Renews 13 Charter Schools But Flunks Three Others…Several win approval but are put on probation or have expansion plans rejected

By John Mooney, March 1, 2013 in Education|Post a Comment

Thirteen of 16 charter schools up for renewal this year have been approved by the Christie administration, but three others – including one of the state’s oldest, in Jersey City – had their renewals denied.

Related Links

The Liberty Charter School in Jersey City, in its 14th year, was rejected over what the state said was a poor record of student achievement and limited evidence that it could improve.

Even among the schools approved for renewal, four had expansion plans rejected and three others were put on probation.

Just one school, the Vineland Public Charter School, saw its full proposal for expansion approved, according to the list released late yesterday.

Following are charter schools up for renewal, along with the administration’s rulings for each one. The non-renewals can be appealed to the state education commissioner.

·         Charter Tech High School (Somers Point) – Renewal approved

·         Discovery Charter School (Newark) – Renewal approved

·         Ethical Community Charter School (Jersey City) – Renewal approved, with expansion to Grade 5 only

·         Freedom Academy Charter School (Camden) -- Probation extended, final decision pending

·         Institute for Excellence Charter School (Winslow) – Renewal denied

·         Liberty Academy Charter School (Jersey City) -- Renewal denied

·         Maria Varisco-Rogers Charter School (Newark) – Renewal approved, with expansion denied

·         Marion P. Thomas Charter School (Newark) – Renewal approved, with expansion denied

·         New Horizons Community Charter School (Newark) – Renewal approved, with probation; expansion denied

·         Newark Educators Charter School (Newark) – Renewal approved, with probation; expansion denied

·         Oceanside Charter School (Atlantic City) – Renewal denied

·         Pace Charter School of Hamilton (Trenton) – Renewal approved, with expansion

·         Ridge and Valley Charter School (Blairstown) – Renewal approved, with probation

 

Star Ledger - Charter schools in Jersey City, Atlantic City and Hammonton set to close

By Jessica Calefati/The Star-LedgerThe Star-Ledger
on February 28, 2013 at 8:25 PM, updated March 01, 2013 at 7:22 AM

View/Post Comments

 

The state Department of Education will close charter schools in Jersey City, Atlantic City and Hammonton at the end of the academic year because of low test scores and problems with the schools’ leadership, state education officials said tonight.

The Institute for Excellence Charter School in Hammonton had been open for four years. Liberty Academy Charter School in Jersey City and Oceanside Charter School in Atlantic City had been open 14 years.

"... Although Oceanside Charter School has been open for 14 years, there is no evidence that the school is providing its students with a quality education or that it has the capacity to dramatically improve student achievement in the future,” state officials wrote in a leter to the Atlantic City charter.

“The school has not engaged in academic goal setting, both in the short-term and long-term, and does not have a clear strategy yo improve student outcomes,” the letter said.

News of the closures came as the education department also announced that 13 schools would have their charters renewed for five more years. Five elementary schools in Newark are among the 13.

Charter schools are public schools that are publicy funded and privately run.

For some of the schools allowed to keep their doors open, the good news came with a warning.

Two charters in Newark — New Horizons Community and Newark Educators — along with schools in Blairstown and Camden have been placed on probation by state officials because of concerns about poor academics, school climate and staffing practices.

“It is a privilage to be able to operate a charter school in New Jersey and we must treat it as such,” state Department of Education spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said.

None of the schools could be reached for comment.

 


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828



zumu logo
Powered by Zumu Software
Websites at the speed of life.
www.zumu.com