The Perth Amboy Board of Education is unlikely to appeal last week’s Appellate Court decision that upheld New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s executive order requiring school districts to use surplus funds to offset cuts in state aid, the board’s superintendant said.
The Republican governor’s initiative forces school districts to tap into unbudgeted surplus funds in excess of 2% to absorb current-year cuts in state aid.
Christie in February announced a $475 million reduction in New Jersey’s school aid for fiscal 2010, which ends June 30.
Those cuts cost Perth Amboy about $15 million. The district has reduced its spending by $8 million and implemented layoffs, including teachers, to balance its budget.
Superintendant John Rodecker said the district was trying to avoid using surplus funds in fiscal 2010 in order to keep them available for fiscal 2011.
“I don’t believe we’re going to appeal it,” Rodecker said. “That’s what we’re leaning towards right now, but we haven’t made a final decision.”
Last year, former Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, also proposed using certain school district surpluses to help offset cuts in state aid but with the Legislature’s approval.