Summary of Governor Christie’s Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Address

by: Robert Allen Saturday, March 20th, 2010

On Tuesday,  March 16th, the Governor gave his fiscal year 2011 budget address stating that there would be an $819 million reduction in school aid.  Here are the facts:

· In 2009-2010, the New Jersey Department of Education distributed $8,969,855,000 in state aid to 582 school districts.  Livingston was scheduled to receive $4,312,693.  In January of 2010 the State stopped ALL aid payments resulting in a loss to LPS of $961,435 for the 2009-2010 school year.

· In 2010-2011, $7,980,854,000 of state aid will be distributed to 582 school districts in New Jersey.  LPS will receive $0.

· Of the 59 school districts losing 100% of state aid, Livingston is #1 in dollar loss at $4,312,693.  This loss ranks LPS 54th in amount of state aid loss among the 582 school districts.

· LPS is one of the few Title I districts losing 100% of state funding.  A Title I district means that Livingston has a certain percentage of students considered low income.

·Debt aid reduction for past projects, as well as future projects, is reduced 15% or $107,882.

· LPS is expecting a 15% assessment on the future payment on principal and interest on the $22,398,628 grant funds approved in the December 8th referendum vote.

·Extraordinary aid has been reduced by 15%, but we have not received the actual amount.

Dr. Draeger has met with principals, supervisors and employee organization representatives. LPS is taking every step possible to protect classroom instruction.  Under consideration are RIFs (Reduction in Force), eliminating non-mandated busing, reduction in stipends across the board, salary adjustments, changing health benefit plans and much more. In an effort to keep the community informed, additional information will be released when it is available.

Despite the last minute nature of Governor Christie’s announcement, the annual school election is still scheduled to be held on April 20th with the polls open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The deadline for voter registration is March 30th.  If you will be 18 years of age by April 20th, have recently moved, or have never registered to vote, now is the time to register. You can access the registration application and other important information about voting here.

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