For Administration, School Aid Equals Property Tax Relief
Governor's office "strongly encourages" school districts not to use funding to restore cut programs.
New Jersey school districts yesterday finally learned more of the details about the extra state aid they will receive under Gov. Chris Christie’s final budget. But there's a twist: the administration wants most of them to use the money for property tax relief.
There still appeared to be some questions as to what actually will be required, if anything. But the governor's office said late in the day that suburban districts receiving extra aid would be "strongly" encouraged to apply the added aid to property tax relief and not necessarily to restoring cut programs.
“The additional education aid included in this year’s budget is an opportunity to reduce property tax burdens by lowering local property tax levies for this fiscal year or the next and move closer toward real reform in our schools," said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts in a statement.
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Jefferson Township will get just over $1 million more state aid in 2011-12 than in 2010-11. How to spend it, however, remains in question.
"There has been no guidance from the NJDOE," said Jefferson Township superintendent Dr. Kathaleen Fuchs. "Until they establish the parameters there is no way to know what is permissible in terms of expenditure. We await guidance from the NJDOE."