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4-13-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Reformers Question If School-Aid Formula Is Out of Touch with Reality

It’s not just rich versus poor or urban versus rural; some basic assumptions of school-funding formula may need to be rethought

Amid the annual handwringing over the state’s perennially underfunded school-aid formula, a number of lawmakers are pushing for a change in the formula that would distribute aid more fairly and help certain districts that have been overwhelmed by large increases in students.

As with most changes to the funding formula, the proposed redistribution of a category called “adjustment aid” would benefit some districts and harm others. But the politics of the plan depart from the usual opposition of urban versus suburban or wealthy versus poor districts, which could improve its chances of becoming law.


Meir Rinde | April 13, 2016

Star Ledger--N.J. could phase out special aid to some school districts

New Jersey's Department of Education could consider a proposal to redistribute a special category of school funding and gradually provide less money to some school districts, Education Commissioner David Hespe said Tuesday. 

Hespe, testifying before the Senate Budget Committee, said the state is open to phasing out so-called "hold harmless" aid — funding given to districts for the sole purpose of ensuring that they don't get less money than they have in the past — if those districts are spending more than the state deems necessary. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| April 12, 2016 at 5:04 PM

The Record--H.S. football: State Education Commissioner confident his agency can solve imbalance in high school sports

State Education Commissioner David Hespe told lawmakers Tuesday that he is confident his agency can work out an agreement with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association to craft a way for high-powered teams in North Jersey to have full and fair schedules.

Hespe’s brief remarks came during a three-hour hearing in Trenton before the Senate Budget committee on the Department of Education’s budget. Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), the committee chairman, asked Hespe if legislation is needed to address the situation.

In December, Hespe rejected a controversial plan approved by the NJSIAA membership that would have separated public and non-public football teams for the first time in the state’s history. He also overturned a plan that would have altered the format for the state wrestling tournament, placing wrestlers from non-public schools in their own separate region.


By JOHN ENSSLIN|The Record| april 13, 2016