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State Increases Aid to Chatham School District

Chatham receives a share of $850 million allocation plan from Gov. Chris Christie.

The School District of the Chathams will receive $1,034,012 in state aid in the 2011-2012 academic year, according to information released from the state Tuesday.

This amount brings the total change in state aid from the 2010-2011 academic year to $1,034,012, or double the $517,006 increase formerly allocated to Chatham

The School District of the Chathams Assistant Superintendent Michael LaSusa, Business Administrator Peter Daquila and Board of Education President Tom Belding would not immediately comment on the increased aid on Tuesday afternoon.

The increase in aid came as part of an $850-million allocation plan for the 2012 fiscal year budget that was announced by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Tuesday. The total is made up of three different parts: an initial $250 million that was initially authorized in increased school aid, an additional $150 million for non-Abbott districts, and $450 million to Abbott districts, which is slightly more than half of the total aid.

That $450 million is being distributed amongst 31 districts. That additional funding, according to a release by the Christie administration, fully funds the Abbott districts under the School Funding Reform Act formula.

“This year, New Jersey increased state aid to school districts by $850 million over last year, restoring every dollar of the cuts we were forced to make last year and increasing aid by an additional $30 million,” Christie said in the release.

The aid comes more than a year after the administration made aid cuts to all districts, which were announced on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. In many cases, the additional aid announced on Tuesday doubled the amount that was initially designated for non-Abbott districts.

Ron Swanson July 12, 2011 at 08:36 PM
So will the line be held on property taxes or will this money be spent, forcing taxes up yet again? The argument that state aid cuts are the reason for rising property taxes will be tested now that half a million dollars has been "found". This money should be held in reserve to offset or eliminate the need to raise property taxes next year. (but something tells me I'm dreaming)
ChathamGuy July 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Wake up, my friend, Rt124Guy, because I think you are dreaming. I think we'll get the same line. Tried hard with the budget, blah, blah, blah. Only property tax increase of 2-4 percent. Certainly hope I'm wrong, but we very rarely vote down the school budget.
Anonymous July 13, 2011 at 02:44 AM
I don't remember the details, but when I attended budget hearings in previous years, the presenters usually answered a question like this with a statement that the state limits how much the district is permitted to keep in reserve. Apparently, the state doesn't want districts saving for a rainy day.
Ron Swanson July 13, 2011 at 01:33 PM
The governor wants this money to be used for property tax relief - we'll see what happens. That is what it should be used for, no doubt, not new spending on wish list items.

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