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RED BANK SCHOOLS GET 18 PERCENT MORE

Data released by the state Department of Education indicates that Red Bank schools would see an 18-percent jump in state aid under the widely anticipated new funding formula unveiled today by Gov. Jon Corzine.

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That translates into $369,000 more than in the current year, comparable to the state-leading 18.6 percent injection of cash the district received from the state earlier this year. That increase, in February, reflected Red Bank’s rapid growth in non-English-speaking students.

We’ve got a call in to Superintendent Laura Morana seeking her comment on the latest figures, and will post her response here once we hear from her.

Unde the proposal, which requires legislative approval and the greenlight from the state Supreme Court under its Abbott v. Burke rulings, state aid to Red Bank would rise to $2.424 million.

Here’s the Corzine administration’s spin on the plan:

Governor Jon S. Corzine today unveiled a new formula that provides a unified approach to school funding and allocates similar resources to similarly situated students, no matter where they live. The formula replaces the outdated, ad-hoc state aid system that currently exists.

Under A New Formula for Success: All Children, All Communities, approximately $7.8 billion will be distributed for K-12 education for the FY2009 fiscal year, an increase of approximately $530 million.

Here’s some background from the Ledger:

Nearly 300 of the state’s 618 districts would get sizable increases of 10 percent or more. More than 100 districts will receive as much as 20 percent more, including Bridgewater-Raritan, Rahway, North Brunswick and Rockaway. All districts would get at least a 2 percent increase for the first year of the new formula.

The proposal would do away with the current court-ordered system that has steered more than half of the state’s $8 billion in school aid to a select group of 31 urban districts, and instead uses a complex formula that aims state money at every district based on their numbers of students with special needs.

Under the plan, as much as a third of districts could ultimately see cuts, but next year, all districts will see at least 2 percent increases. None would see cuts for at least three years, according to officials and others briefed on the plan.

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