Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mark Weber: What the Sweeney-Prieto Plan Needs Is a District-by-District Analysis - NJ Spotlight

Opinion: What the Sweeney-Prieto Plan Needs Is a District-by-District Analysis - NJ Spotlight:

What the Sweeney-Prieto Plan Needs Is a District-by-District Analysis

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Sweeney-Prieto may have good intentions, but its consequences could be dire for some districts


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Mark Weber
Earlier this month, state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto reached an agreement on the allocation of state aid to school districts for the 2017-2018 school year. The original proposal added an additional $100 million in aid above Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. In addition — and more controversially — it reallocated an additional $46 million away from some districts and toward others.
On Monday, the New Jersey Education Policy Forum released my analysis of the original Sweeney-Prieto school-funding proposal. That proposal appears to have changed as of Monday; however, an examination of the original is still instructive.
The amount to be reallocated has been reduced to $31 million. But both the new and the old proposals appear to allocate aid in reaction to two factors: adjustment aid and the growth cap.

‘Overaided’

Adjustment aid was included in the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) back in 2008 as a way for districts to ensure that they would never get less aid than they did back when the act was passed. Adjustment aid has resulted in accusations of districts being “overaided” — receiving more aid than the SFRA formula says they should.
The growth cap limits the increase in aid a district receives compared with the previous year. Critics contend it leads to “underaiding” of certain districts that have expanded quickly.
I am sympathetic to the argument that the state should take another look at adjustment aid and the growth gap. But I also contend much of the problem comes from chronically underfunding the state’s own law.
According to the Education Law Center, SFRA has been cumulatively underfunded Opinion: What the Sweeney-Prieto Plan Needs Is a District-by-District Analysis - NJ Spotlight:


Big Education Ape: The Sweeny-Prieto School Aid Proposal: An Analysis | School Finance 101 - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-sweeny-prieto-school-aid-proposal.html

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