The education team of Jersey City Together has been researching to understand, in concrete terms, the process by which City Council can allocate funds to JCPS. I’m a member of that team so wanted to share:
1) NJ law NJSA 40:48-17-1 allows the municipality to allocate surplus funds to the public schools. Sharing that below.
2) Also shared below, as the visual helps underscore what’s possible to advocate for: there is a line item in the city budget, for surplus to be allocated to the public schools, located on “Sheet 28” of the City Budget (available at this link).
Next Steps – City Council Meeting Wednesday June 12th
Understanding how, and when, we can allocate funds to our public schools is critical to understand if we want to avoid staffing cuts in our public schools next year. The City Council can help stave off these cuts if they choose to allocate funds to the public schools as per their budgeting process, which is currently underway.
The next City Council meeting is Wednesday, June 12th. You can call the City Clerk’s office to sign up to speak. If you’re new to city council meetings, I wrote this post offering some tips about public comment at city council meetings.
Jersey City’s Public Schools Funding Crisis – An overview if you’re new to this topic.
Jersey City’s public schools are currently $100 million underfunded. They also face an overall, $250+ million local underfunding shortfall. JCPS is currently receiving excess aid from NJ to cover the local funding gap; but, that excess aid is scheduled to be clawed back in $25 million increments over the next 5-6 years. You can learn more about these details, and the human impact of underfunding as experienced by our students, in this short, 10-minute video tutorial put together by NJ Together’s education advocacy team.