NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
920 West State Street • Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5328
609.599.2900 / Fax: 609.599.9359 website: https://www.njasa.netWhat’s on the horizon for New Jersey’s public schools this year?
Budgets and funding challenges. Shared services and school security, and changes in assessment.NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza is available to discuss items that have the potential to impact local budgets and students in New Jersey during the 2014-2015 school year.Press ReleaseContact:Anne H. GallagherNJASA Director of Communications609-599-2900, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Budgets and Funding Challenges
While the state budget has already been set through fiscal year through June 30, 2015, there are a few issues and court cases to follow.
- For example, 20 mostly southern rural districts, called Bacon districts, that are educating a large population of students in poverty, are fighting for the same equitable funding that has been afforded the Abbott districts. The funding was promised in a 2008 successful lawsuit. To date, the resources have never been provided. The Education Law Center has recently filed a notice with the state requiring that the funds be allocated. We’re awaiting the decision.
- In addition, public employees are challenging the Governor’s budget decision to withhold the required 1.57 billion dollars in funding of the state pension system. If the court decides the payment will be made, adjustments need to come from somewhere.
- Also, costs for providing for special education students are rising at a faster rate than those for regular education. This creates another need for budget shifts.
- Another factor to keep an eye on is the lawsuit seeking to provide the cost of living adjustments to public retirees. A favorable ruling will require the state to provide a substantially larger portion of future state budgets to meet growing pension payments.
- All of these items have the potential to reduce needed funding to local school districts.
- A cost-saving trend in publicly funded services such as police forces and schools is to examine ways save money by sharing services. For example, Hunterdon County has just merged four like-minded school districts. Other districts share purchase acquisitions on supplies, equipment and more. Many opportunities do exist, and each situation is unique.
2) Shared Services
- A cost-saving trend in publicly funded services such as police forces and schools is to examine ways save money by sharing services.
- For example, Hunterdon County has just merged four like-minded school districts. Other districts share purchase acquisitions on supplies, equipment and more.
- Many opportunities exist, and each situation is unique.
3) School Security
- While many schools are more secure than ever before, school leaders are vigilant in their unwavering dedication to providing student safety and security. There are on-going conversations about whether armed guards belong in schools and other ways to protect our students.
4) The impact of changes in student assessment
- Governor Christie has decided to phase in the impact on teacher and principal evaluations of the new online testing called PARCC, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. That’s a prudent move as it will be the first year that all students take the assessment. A gradual implementation gives us time to navigate the bumps and challenges of an online assessment of higher standards.
New Jersey’s Chief Education Officers are working hard to confront these challenges and others—always with the goal of the best interest of our students.###
- Overtime, we’ll also have to examine how the PARCC assessments will impact graduation requirements.