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Schaer, Swain, Tully & Wimberly Bill Expanding Funds for School Security Efforts Signed into Law

Continuing efforts to ensure the safety of all New Jersey students while in school, legislation sponsored by Assembly members Gary Schaer, Lisa Swain, Chris Tully and Benjie Wimberly to boost funding for security services at nonpublic schools was signed into law on Tuesday by the Governor.

“Keeping all of New Jersey’s children safe is our number one responsibility as parents, leaders in the community, and legislators,” said Schaer (D- Bergen, Passaic). “The allocated funds will double the amount spent on security services, equipment, or technology, and will ensure a safe and secure school environment for all students.”

In FY2019, $286 million of the school funding formula was appropriated for public school district school security aid. On average, each public school receives $205 per pupil.

The nonpublic security budget in the FY2019 appropriations bill provides $11.3 million for Boards of Education to provide security services, equipment, or technology to make certain school environments are safe and secure for nonpublic school pupils enrolled full-time. The new law doubles that amount to $22.6 million.

“School security is important,” said Swain (D- Bergen, Passaic). “We must do all we can to ensure all schools have access to the proper funding necessary to protect all students while in school.”

“Our priority is keeping students safe which requires the proper security measures and the funding to implement them,” said Tully (D-Bergen, Passaic). “All schools must have the tools necessary to protect our children.”

Specifically, the law (formerly bill A-4597) makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Education to increase funding for nonpublic security aid. Under the appropriations act for fiscal year 2019, school districts received $75 per student enrolled in a nonpublic school located in the district for the purpose of providing security services, equipment, or technology. This law increases the funding to $150 per pupil.

“School security funding is an important part of school funding today,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “This new law ensures that every school in the state can take the appropriate steps to protect their campuses. Students and teachers deserve to feel safe in their schools.”

The measure was unanimously approved by the Assembly and Senate in December.