Corzine’s School Aid Plan: State Aid Does Not Follow the Child
Whether a child goes to school in Perth Amboy or Mountain Lakes makes no difference.It just doesn’t happen to be true. State aid does not “follow the child” under Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed plan. Spending and state aid are totally dependent upon where the child goes to school.
The premise is that money should follow the child. It's hard to argue with that.
Under Corzine’s proposal, the Perth Amboy school district will receive $11,098 in equalized state aid for one child. If that same child attends school in Mountain Lakes, the district would receive $0 in equalized state aid.
Perth Amboy would no longer receive $11,098 in aid for the child, but the district would no longer bear the cost of educating that student. Mountain Lakes, on the other hand, would have to spend money to educate the child, but would receive no state aid for the student. Cost followed the child, not state aid.
There are two reasons for this. Under Corzine’s plan, both adequate spending per student and “local fair share” vary based upon school district.
Equalized state aid is the difference between adequate spending minus “local fair share”.
Equalized state aid = Adequate district Budget - Local Fair ShareAid per student is very dependent on “local fair share” and can range from 0 to nearly100 percent of adequate spending per student.
Two districts can have identical adequate school budgets, but very different “local fair share” contributions. The greater a district’s “local fair share”, the lower state aid will be.
“Local fair share” is based upon the value of real estate within a school district and the income of its residents. So there is little likelihood two districts will have identical “local fair share” contributions based on the proposed formula.
Local Fair Share = (District’s Equalized Property Valuation x 0.0092690802 X .0.50) + (Districts Aggregate Income x 0.04546684 x .0.50)Clearly, state aid can not follow a student because it will be different in each school district a child might attend. That’s excluding, of course, 184 school districts where equalized state aid for the student will be the same, $0.