Clerk's Office - 4/18/2017 12:11:51 PM
Mayor Barberio played host to Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Joe Pennacchio who led a roundtable on the Fair School Funding Formula. Mayor Barberio of Parsippany-Troy Hills, Mayor Collins of Kinnelon, Mayor Sandham and School Superintendent Dr. Rene Rovtar of Montville, Mayor Alessi of North Caldwell Borough, former Councilman Paul Minnena and School Business Administrator Donna Marie Palmiere of Rockaway Township, Councilman Lou Signorino of West Milford Township and Mayor Robert Onderko of Manville had the opportunity to advocate for their school districts and discuss the importance of distributing state aid fairly. State Senate President Sweeney acknowledged that Morris County was severely underfunded. Everyone agreed that time is of the essence and that this problem should be acted upon quickly.
Mayor Barberio spoke of Parsippany’s student population consisting of 7,300 children in 14 schools. Parsippany receives only $4,709,595 in school aid which translates to approximately $678 per student. Mayor Barberio said that, “State aid makes up only 3.5% of the total revenue being spent on our students, which means that our community is paying for the majority of our budget through property taxes as a result of the disproportionate small amount of state aid that we receive. This is not sustainable for our residents and it is crucial that steps be taken to lower the property taxes for residents.”
The first year (2008) that the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) went into effect, adjustment aid was provided to avoid having losers in the transition formula. Those districts were supposed to be weaned off that aid but that has never happened. Many districts are receiving more than 100% of their estimated state aid while others are receiving much less. Parsippany is only slated to receive $1 of adjustment aid in the proposed FY18 budget so any proposed adjustment aid would not benefit the Board of Education.
Mayor Barberio reiterated that, “The time has come to become pro-active on all the disparities in school funding. I praise the bi-partisan effort of Senate President Sweeney and State Senator Joe Pennacchio who have committed to working together to get this problem resolved.”