While budget freezes or slightly boosts aid, state construction-grant assessments soar 60 percent

By John Mooney

New Jersey school leaders expressed relief last week when Gov. Chris Christie announced in his budget address that no district would get less state aid next year and some would see modest increases.

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Chart Showing School Districts’ Construction-Grant Debt Assessments

But a closer look at the numbers indicates that while aid is largely staying flat, more than a few districts are taking sizable hits in their required debt-service payments to the state, in many cases eliminating any bump in aid — and then some.

According to data provided by the state yesterday, nearly 500 districts will see double-digit percentage increases in assessments paid to the Schools Development Authority for debt service on construction grants for projects launched in the last several years.


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