Friday, January 27th, 11:00 a.m.
NJ.com, by Don E. Woods, 9/25/16
Education Law Center, 9/20/16
Asbury Park Press Editorial, 9/16/16
Bergen Record, 9/14/16
OPED - Stephen Sweeney, 9/2/16
Formula 4 Success, 7/13/16
OPED - Stephen Sweeney & Teresa Ruiz, 7/11/16
Michelle Caffrey for NJ.com, 6/25/16
New Jersey Senate Bill, No. 2372, 6/16/2016
The Kingsway Regional School District remains committed to providing challenging educational programs as well as comparable extra-curricular and athletic program offerings that prepare students for college and career upon graduation. Despite budgetary constraints due to a rapidly growing student population, the District continues to maintain and expand student opportunities while securing the safety of both students and staff. (See Kingsway By The Numbers)
Kingsway Regional has managed these significant enrollment increases, year after year, without the benefit of corresponding state aid increases that reflect our growth. As a result, the financial support of our schools continues to be disproportionately placed on the homeowners within our region. Kingsway will receive only 43.3% of the state aid it is entitled per the state’s funding formula (SFRA) in fiscal year 2017. If funded at 100% of SFRA, Kingsway would receive an additional $11.6 million of state aid in fiscal year 2017 alone. Conversely, districts with declining enrollments, like Washington Township, will receive more than 140% of the state aid they are entitled per the state’s funding formula. This inadequacy in state aid simply cannot continue if Kingsway is to compete with its peer districts.
In FY17, the District’s proposed budget falls in excess of $8.3 million below adequacy as determined by the SFRA. This fact, along with the constant demands placed on our programs as a result of continued and significant enrollment growth, has made it extremely difficult to raise standards and expand opportunities for our students. In fact, we are and will continue to communicate the point that our students have fewer opportunities than students attending schools in Districts that receive a far more proportionate share of state aid. Kingsway is a District that must grow to meet the demands of a rapidly expanding student body in order to provide the rigor, opportunity, and quality of program for our students to compete in the highly competitive global community.
“We believe that state aid should be distributed fairly and equitably based on a formula that takes into account each town’s property tax base, its ability to pay, increases and decreases in enrollment, and the special needs of the children. This reform plan (Senate Bill 2372) will help Kingsway and other communities provide a quality education while protecting local taxpayers. It’s a strong step in the right direction."
Dr. James J. Lavender, Superintendent