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Schaer, Swain, Tully, & Wimberly Bill Increasing Funds for School Security Measures Clears Both Houses, Heads to Governor

(TRENTON) – Boosting aid to nonpublic schools for security related services, legislation sponsored by Assembly members Gary Schaer, Lisa Swain, Chris Tully, and Benjie Wimberly to provide increased funding to school districts was unanimously approved by the full legislature on Monday, December 17th.

“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 FY 2019, $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.

“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.”

The nonpublic security budget in the FY2019 appropriations bill provides funds for Boards of Education to provide security services, equipment, or technology to ensure a safe and secure school environment for nonpublic school pupils who are enrolled full–time in nonpublic schools within the school district.

The appropriations bill included $11.3 million for nonpublic security – this legislation would double that amount to $22.6 million.

“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 bill (A-4597) would make 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.

“School security funding is an important part of school funding today,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “This bill 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 bill was unanimously approved Monday by the Assembly and Senate. It will now go to the Governor for further consideration.