There are many school districts across Ocean County and Monmouth County who've been bearing the brunt of the controversial S2 school funding formula cuts by the state for years that are now receiving some aid to help stabilize their ship.

In late December, the New Jersey Department of Education announced that they approved $29,650,000.00 in funding for 42 school districts who have been cut state aid yearly since 2018.

Of the 42 school districts across New Jersey who are going to be receiving stabilization aid from the state, 21 are located between Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Howell High School (Google Street View)
Howell High School (Google Street View)

Monmouth County State Senator Vin Gopal (D-11), who is also the Senate Education Chair, helped in spearheading efforts to help restore order to school district budgets that have been hemorrhaging money due to lack of state aid from the S2-School Funding Formula.

Senator Gopal said he was able to help secure about $30-million in the 2023 budget to be set aside for this stabilization aid which includes six school districts that are in his Senate district.

“This funding will allow our schools, and districts across the state, to maintain essential services ranging from transportation to school security,” Gopal said in a written statement. “New Jersey must continue working to create a more equitable and more reliable system for school funding. Until we realize that goal, however, stabilization aid is crucial to supporting our schools without further burdening our taxpayers.”

Asbury Park High School
Asbury Park High School (Bud McCormick)

In Monmouth County's 13th District, Senator Declan O'Scanlon and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger and Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn released a separate statement on the six school districts that fall in their legislative district after they've been pushing for months for change and reduced state aid.

“This is a step in the right direction, but the work is far from over. It is encouraging that our consistent advocacy has resulted in additional funding, yet we have a long way to go until our schools recoup the entirety of aid they rightfully deserve,” Senator O’Scanlon said in a written statement. “We are not going to rest on our laurels, we are going to continue to push the administration and Department of Education until our school districts are made whole. We will stay to be on the frontlines of this fight and this coming budget cycle will give another opportunity to keep the pressure mounting.”

Manalapan High School (Freehold Regional High School District)
Manalapan High School (Freehold Regional High School District)

“It is encouraging to see that the enormous amount of force we put on the New Jersey Department of Education during the Assembly Budget Committee hearings led to this announcement. We have and will continue to hold the department accountable for the negative impacts their cuts have had on our schools as well as taxpayers who have been left to carry the financial burden,” Assemblyman Scharfenberger said in a written statement. “I am encouraged that they have relented, and more aid is rightfully being sent to these districts, yet we have a long road ahead of us.”

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“While we are pleased that the State has restored some funding for the current school year to our school districts here in Monmouth County, we all know it is not a long-term solution to the public education crisis that exists in this State," Assemblywoman Flynn said in a written statement. "The fact remains that the State chose to cut state aid to District 13 school districts earlier this year, in the amount of $7.4 million, despite being aware of the remedial work that needs to be done to catch students up because of interruptions to their schooling over the last three years. That decision alone was unconscionable. We have no guarantee that those school districts receiving stabilization aid this year will receive it again next year, which is startling news to any school district that is now in the throes of preparing for next school year’s budget.”

The 13th district legislators explain that each school district had to apply for this grant and ensuing stabilization aid.

Here are the school districts in Monmouth County and Ocean County who have been awarded stabilization aid.

  • Asbury Park - $678,526
  • Belmar Boro - $371,250
  • Eatontown - $282,180
  • Freehold Regional - $786,600
  • Hazlet Township - $336,545
  • Howell Township - $790,000
  • Keansburg - $3,640,000
  • Keyport Boro - $56,803
  • Manalapan-Englishtown Regional - $636,400
  • Marlboro Township - $2,143,646
  • Middletown Township - $1,970,000
  • Upper Freehold Regional - $1,430,000
  • Monmouth Regional - $610,000
  • Neptune City - $450,131.60
  • Ocean Township - $1,269,450
  • Union Beach - $1,124,800
  • Brick Township - $475,639.92
  • Jackson Township - $1,642,898.80
  • Lacey Township - $200,000
  • Ocean Gate Boro - $133,800
  • Point Pleasant Boro - $63,206

NEXT: 10 Jersey Shore School Districts Losing Millions From S2 School Funding Formula

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