By MADDY VITALE
While many school districts around New Jersey are losing millions of dollars in state aid, Ocean City is actually getting a modest increase of nearly $200,000.
Gov. Phil Murphy and the state Department of Education outlined the $20.5 billion state budget proposal to support New Jersey schools in a news release March 2. The proposed budget adds $832 million in state aid to public K-12 schools.
For Ocean City, there will be a $198,146 increase in state aid. In total, Ocean City will receive $4,529,295 in state aid, a 4.6 percent increase over last year.
“The majority of the increase in state aid for Ocean City is attributable to School Choice aid,” Ocean City School Business Administrator Tim Kelley said Monday.
He noted that state aid for the School Choice program increased by $175,764 over the prior year.
“The remainder of the state aid increase was attributable to special education aid of just over $22,000,” Kelley said.
In total, state aid for the School Choice program is anticipated to be $2,938,906, and general state aid for Ocean City is anticipated to be $1,590,489, he said.
Kelley noted that the district is in the process of finalizing the district budget for introduction at the next Board of Education meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at Ocean City High School.
He also said that there were no surprises when it came to the amount of state aid given to Ocean City.
“I had expected state aid to remain relatively flat. Again, our increase in state aid is mostly attributable to the School Choice program here in the district,” he said.
Murphy’s proposed state budget would provide historic levels of school aid, with an increase in $1 billion over the prior year for a total of $20.5 billion in school funding. This amount includes pre-K funding, pension and benefits funding for school staff, and an increase in $832 million in total K-12 formula aid, according to the news release. District allocations of state aid are available on the DOE’s School Finance webpage.
“My Administration remains committed to providing students throughout our state with the world-class education they deserve,” Murphy said in the release. “Ensuring equitable access to high-quality education not only prepares our children for successful futures – it benefits us in the here and now.”
He added, “Investments in education represent investments in working families, school communities, and so much more. This year’s budget proposal demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working towards fully funding our schools, expanding pre-K throughout the state, growing our educator workforce, and promoting the success of our students.”
For information about the Ocean City School District visit oceancityschools.org.