S-3000

Appropriates $32,976,962,000 in State funds and $13,427,159,762 in federal funds for the State budget for FY 2014.

NJEA supports S-3000 (Sarlo) / A-4200 (Prieto, O’Scanlon).  The FY 2014 budget bill would appropriate a total of $32.9 billion, approximately $55 million more than Governor Christie’s proposed budget.

  • Under the bill, no school district would receive less State Aid for FY 2014 than in the prior year.  In addition, the total formula aid would increase by about $90 million to almost $9 billion.
  • The budget includes a new program, Under Adequacy Aid, providing $16.8 million to help districts meet the goals of the School Funding Reform Act and reduces SDA assessments by $7.4 million from the Governor’s proposed budget.
  • The bill includes the statutorily required three-seventh payment of approximately $1.7 billion toward State pension funds in FY 2014 and fulfills commitments made to hard working public school employees who qualify for post-retirement medical benefits.
  • This legislation maintains support for county colleges and increases funding for some tuition assistance programs by roughly $20 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 average state aid increase was a mere one percent over 2013-14 state aid for schools in violation of 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 still less 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 200,000 members, we urge you to support this budget proposal.