Interactive Map: State Aid to NJ Public Schools

Most communities are still working with less than they were budgeted for in 2009-2010

The map shows the percent change in school aid from the state between 2009-10, the last budgeted amount under former Gov. Jon Corzine, and Gov. Chris Christie’s recommendation for next year.

Source: NJ Spotlight analysis of N.J. Department of Education data.

Mapping State Aid to Schools

The proposed New Jersey budget for the new fiscal year holds a modest, but welcome, increase in state aid to school districts. But it’s still not enough to make up for the large cuts made shortly after Gov. Chris Christie took office.

The map shows the change in state allocations to schools — equalization aid, adequacy aid, transportation aid, special education aid, security aid, adjustment aid, and choice aid. Communities in green are slated to get more aid in the school year that begins July 1 than was originally proposed in 2009-2010 by Gov. Jon Corzine. All other communities will still be getting less.

When Christie took office, he quickly declared a state of fiscal emergency and withheld from schools an average of 5.2 percent, or $450 million, of the aid Corzine had budgeted for them. He cut an additional 8 percent in 2010-2011. This year, districts saw a 3 percent increase; Christie has proposed a 1.7 percent hike for next year.

Overall, districts are still slated to get 8.5 percent less in formula aid than three years earlier: $7.9 billion for 2012-13, compared with the original budgeted amount of $8.6 billion for 2009-2010.

For the sake of more easily mapping the data, school aid was apportioned by municipality. Click on a municipality to find the amount of aid scheduled and the percent change since 2009-2010.

The map shows aid changes for the primary K-12, K-8, or K-6 district that students in a community attend. For communities where students attend a regional high school district or another district’s high school, the data for that secondary district is available by clicking on that municipality.

The largest dollar loss would be in Newark, which is to get $82.6 million less next year than was budgeted in 2009-2010. Both Red Bank and West Wildwood are to get less than half the aid they got three years ago.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is slated to get $22.5 million more. Deal and Stockton, both small K-8 districts, stand to get 13 times more aid, due to large infusions of money available under an expanded interdistrict choice initiative. That funding is being given to districts that have agreed to accept children from other communities, with the aid replacing the local tax levy cost for each child they host.