Secaucus stands to lose about $576K in funding for its schools under Gov. Chris Christie’s $475M slashing of school aid announced Feb. 11.
The cut represents about one-third of the $1.6M that Secaucus was slated to receive from the state this fiscal year, but the governor’s office, calling the cuts “withheld aid,” noted that the move “will not result in any reduction in approved school spending this year.”
The governor said the school aid cuts will not hurt districts with school boards “acting responsibly” (those with surpluses) and wants local districts to use surplus funds to fill the sudden shortfall in aid expected from the state.
Mark Gleason, who heads the So. Orange Maplewood Board of Ed (set to lose $2.2M), blasted Christie’s decision in a post to the New York Times’ “The Local” blog.
“…by making cuts in state aid apply only to school districts that have surpluses from prior years, and by selectively applying bigger cuts to some districts than others, he is forcing higher tax rates on towns where school officials have effectively exercised cost control and under-spent their budgets,” said Gleason.
Christie is touting cuts in school aid and NJ Transit’s budget as steps to reduce the state’s $2.2 billion budget deficit this fiscal year. New Jersey faces an $11 billion gap in the 2011 budget.
Complete list of cuts released by the governor’s office is here (PDF).