State aid to Secaucus Schools will jump 40 percent for the 2012-13 school year to $927,286, according to state projections released Thursday.
That’s a $260K increase over the current year’s $664K for K-12 and the 12th largest increase in the state. State aid to the district had waned in recent years, including cuts of $1.7M over the previous two years and the loss of an $800K surplus.
Thirty-six districts will lose aid next year. The Christie administration said the funding was increased $135M over last year to $7.8B.
“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,” said the governor, who lost a court battle last year when he cut school funding.
The announced increase for Secaucus comes after Christie used Secaucus High School as the backdrop to announce education reforms in November.
In announcing school aid for next year, Christie said he wants to change the allocation of school funding by tying it to the number of students in classrooms and steering more funds toward schools where enrollment is increasing. Critics say that approach will hurt poor districts.
“Over the last 40 years, we’ve talked a lot about equalizing funding, but we need to change the conversation to focus on whether students are learning the same everywhere, rather than simply whether we are spending the same everywhere,” said Chris Cerf, acting commissioner of education for the state.
The aid could provide some breathing room for next year’s school budget after voters rejected the 2011-12 budget and it went to the mayor and council for trimming to the tune of $1.1M.