S-2015/A-3482

Appropriates $34,133,290,000 in State funds and $15,013,691,000 in federal funds for the State budget for FY 2015.

NJEA supports S-2015 (Sarlo) / A-3482 (Schaer).  The FY 2015 budget bill would appropriate a total of $34.1 billion, approximately $865 million more than the FY 2014 Adjusted Appropriation of $33.3 billion.

NJEA supports this bill because:

  • Under the bill, no school district would receive less State Aid for FY 2015 than in the prior year.
  • The budget includes a new program, the County Vocational School District Partnership Grant Program, which provides $3 million in additional funding to vocational schools.  The bill includes the statutorily required 4/7th payment of approximately $2.25 billion toward State pension funds in FY 2015 and fulfills commitments made under Chapter 78 to hard working public school employees and other public employees to put the retirement systems on sound financial footing.
  • Provides additional funding for the county colleges and increases funding for some tuition assistance programs by roughly $14 million.  In New Jersey, hundreds of thousands of students rely on New Jersey’s county colleges to begin their higher education, to receive training for critical skilled professions, and to enhance their skills and their value in the job market.  This budget helps to support the goals of these important institutions.

Although NJEA supports this budget, the Association notes that the state will, once again, not meet its obligations under the School Funding Reform Act.  In addition, the Association continues to be concerned about the continued underfunding of public employee pension systems.  While this budget makes the statutorily required contribution to public employee pension systems, the amount contributed is barely more than 50% of what is actuarially required for a financially sound retirement system and; therefore, continues a pattern of significantly underfunding the state’s obligation.

On behalf of NJEA’s 196,000 members, we urge you to support this budget proposal.