School Districts Average 30% Increase in State Aid

Across all school districts in New Jersey, there will be an increase in state aid

After the past few years of underfunded state aid to school districts, the River Edge, Oradell and River Dell districts will be receiving a boost of 30% over last year's amount.

Governor Chris Christie 2013 Budget proposal includes $7.8 billion in K-12 formula aid, an increase of $135 million over last year and part of $213 million in additional state funding for education over Fiscal Year 2012. 

The two K-6 districts will receive the largest percentage increase with 36.7% to River Edge and 36% to Oradell. The Regional district is set for a 23.3% increase.

"It seems like they are giving back the aid slowly that was taken two years ago," Oradell Board Administrator Rita Cioppi said. "I'm happy because this will help us, help the school." 

Oradell is set to recieve $328,932 an $87,024 increase from the 2011-12 state aid amount of $241,908. River Edge, which has proposed under a pre-state aid budget proposal was awarded an additional $114,018 to bring the state aid from $310,613 to $424,631.

"It is very encouraging and pleased that that no matter how the Board decides to use the money, that fact that it was given makes it easier for the following budget while working within the 2% cap," River Edge Superintendent Dr. Tova Ben Dov said. "It is a relief that the direction of the aid was upwards and not downwards, it's certainly better than not receiving it."

Ben Dov added that there are several possiblities for the additional state aid from education, buildings and grounds and capital projects, but that the Board will need to deliberate and digest the administration's proposals.

The Regional district, while still underfunded from a few years ago when it received $1 million in aid, is slowly returning to closing in on its former amounts with aid proposed at $632,193. Last year the district received $512,522 in aid.

“Since taking office, one of my greatest priorities has been working to ensure that every child in the state receives a high quality education that will prepare them for the demands of the 21st century,” said Governor Christie in a press release. “In addition to increasing overall spending on education to the highest levels in state history, we can and will go further to implement common sense ways that will make every education dollar count. If we truly want to ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, graduate from high school ready for college and career, the money needs to follow the child.”

Next week, each of the Boards of Education will have meet to approve a preliminary budget to be submitted to the County Superintendent. River Edge is scheduled to convene on Wednesday, 7:30pm at Cherry Hill while River Dell's meeting is Thursday, 8pm at the Regional High School. An Oradell Board of Education meeting will be held on Thursday, 7:30pm in the OPS multi-media room.


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