⚫ Nearly 140 NJ school districts face funding cuts under the latest budget proposal

⚫ Lawmakers say these districts deserve some relief

⚫ A proposal aims to put a cap on the amount that funding can drop in one year

As officials consider ways to revamp the state's school funding formula, a proposed law aims to ensure that school districts are never delivered an unsustainable blow in funding cuts in a given year.

In response to Gov. Phil Murphy's latest budget proposal, Republican lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly have introduced legislation that says the amount of state school aid disbursed to a district can't be reduced by more than 1% from the prior year's amount.

"That would provide security for all of our students, all of our teachers statewide," Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, R-Ocean, told New Jersey 101.5.

Rumpf's district is home to a number of school systems that stand to lose millions of dollars under the current budget proposal. Lacey schools, for example, expect to see state aid fall by $3.2 million.

Proposed year-over-year cuts are as high as $10.4 million in Long Branch.

Murphy's budget includes a record amount of spending on public education, but it also includes a drop in funding for nearly 140 school systems.

"It would take double-digit tax levy increases to make up that amount of funding," Rumpf said. "I think there's recognition on both sides of the aisle that some form of relief has to be enacted in the next month to restore at least a portion of the draconian funding cuts."

SEE ALSO: The schools with the best SAT scores in every NJ county

This is the final year of a seven-year phase-in of the updated funding formula signed by Murphy in 2018. Fully funded, the formula is meant to provide a thorough and efficient education for all students.

In March, the Senate Education Committee heard testimony on potential ways to adjust New Jersey's school funding formula.

Rumpf's measure and a companion in the Senate have been referred to committee but haven't seen any action.

There has been movement on other proposals aimed at addressing the issue, such as a grant program for districts that face aid cuts this year, and approval for districts to increase local taxes above the 2% annual limit.

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