18th Legislative District schools slated to receive more than $120 million in direct state aid

Public schools in New Jersey’s 18th Legislative District are slated to receive more than $120.2 million in direct aid under Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed state budget.

Murphy announced details of his school funding plan for FY2023 during a press conference at James Monroe Elementary School in Edison on Thursday morning.

Lawmakers have until July 1 to approve Murphy’s $48.9 billion state budget, which includes a record $9.9 billion investment in direct aid to public education for New Jersey’s nearly 700 school districts.

Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak and Assemblyman Sterley Stanley, who represent the 18th Legislative District, congratulated the governor for making the education of New Jersey’s children a top priority.

“Still reeling from the pandemic’s impact on learning and social and emotional wellbeing, our students and the dedicated educators who serve them need our support now more than ever,” Diegnan, Karabinchak and Stanley said in a joint statement.

“We must ensure students are receiving the best possible education and are learning in safe environments. Our legislative district’s schools will benefit from investments in infrastructure, improved facilities, school construction and renovation, preschool expansion, special education, and much more.”

The 18th Legislative District encompasses East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta (students attend Spotswood Public Schools), Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield, and South River.

Under Murphy’s proposed budget, municipalities within the 18th Legislative District are projected to receive a combined $24.57 million increase from FY2022 in direct aid for public schools.

Under the proposed FY2023 budget, school districts by town will receive:

  • East Brunswick $33.324 million (a $7.432 million increase over the last year)

  • Edison $47.595 million (an $11.756 million increase over the last year)

  • Highland Park $4.780 million (a $356,919 increase over the last year)

  • Metuchen $2.492 million (a $453,303 increase over the last year)

  • South Plainfield $9.902 million (a $1.446 million increase over the last year)

  • South River $22.111 million (a $3.130 million over the last year) 

In addition, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, whose East Brunswick campus is part of the 18th Legislative District, are budgeted to receive $17.422 million in direct state aid for education.

“Things like this don’t get done by me alone,” Murphy said during his press conference, singling out lawmakers from the 18th Legislative District and others, who he called extraordinary partners and colleagues. “To do this, as they say, it takes a village.”

Diegnan, Karabinchak and Stanley noted educators and students will gain from other elements of Murphy’s proposed budget, which includes investments in transportation and a full payment into the state’s pension system.

“We know that schools account for more than half of the average property tax bill in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “By adequately funding our public schools, we are allowing towns to maintain high-quality educational programs without passing the additional cost on to property taxpayers.”

Angelica Allen-McMillan, the state’s acting commissioner of education said, “This funding is critical to help increase opportunities for all students, especially as we emerge from the global pandemic.”

“Nothing is more important than investing in the education of our children,” Diegnan, Karabinchak and Stanley said in a joint statement. “It is no coincidence that New Jersey has the best public schools in the nation.”

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