AVON-BY-THE-SEA — The New Jersey Department of Education issued the 2023-24 state aid figures this week, and while some school districts are celebrating an increase or staying even, others including Avon are preparing to cope with decreases.
“The Avon School District lost $12,000 in state aid,” said Avon School District Superintendent Michael-John Herits. “Keeping in mind the size of our budget, losing any sort of state aid/funding can be detrimental to creating a successful and operational budget.”
According to the school website, the Avon School District is home to around 150 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Last year, the state offered the small district around $184,000 in state aid and this year that number will be dropping by 7 percent.
The state Department of Education posted a press release on March 3 that stated there would be $20.5 billion in the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal, which is an increase of $1 billion from the previous year and a historic high in state aid numbers. With this large increase in budget, the Avon superintendent is wondering why funding is still being cut for certain school districts.
“Unfortunately a decrease in state aid is not favorable,” said Mr. Herits. “The State Aid Formula used by the department of education needs to be overhauled. It is alarming with such a surplus this year in the state’s budget that many school districts saw the decrease in state aid.”
While the school is looking at a decent decrease in funding, the superintendent has assured the school community that these numbers will not result in any downsizing or cuts and that the district will continue to provide the best education possible to their students.
“Our current budget has been formulated and worked on for a couple of months now. We have prepared and made the necessary adjustments to continue providing the students of Avon a superb education that the staff consistently delivers to our community,” said Mr. Herits. “We will not be removing anything from our budget this year and we are in the final stages of finalizing our budget.”
According to Mr. Herits, the budget will be discussed at the March 16 Board of Education meeting to begin at 7 p.m.
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