Brick Schools Will Make Legal Challenge In State Aid Loss

Brick Township Board of Education. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – The Brick Township Board of Education will vote on a resolution to retain legal services to challenge the state’s school funding allocation Oct. 11.

The Board is seeking to retain legal services of Weiner Law Group, in Parsippany. The Board, along with Mayor John Ducey and the Township Council, wants to challenge the New Jersey School Funding Reform Act of 2008.

The district has met with other school districts that have faced aid reduction. Brick lost $1.913 million this year and estimates its cumulative loss over the next seven years at $42 million. This had led to cuts in staffing and facilities projects, and will ultimately “impact student programs,” the district said.

“Our district along with others must make our voices heard on behalf of the students and our community,” Superintendent of Schools Gerard Dalton said.

Current funding patterns use weighted formulas to steer money to districts based on high-need students’ numbers, and the ability to raise revenue through property taxes. The Board believes other factors have been ignored by the current formula: an increase in English Language Learners to the district, the high percentage of special needs students and the loss of retables due to Super Storm Sandy.

The district and township believe the Commissioner “has ignored the legislative mandate of the SFRA and the determination of aid was arbitrary and inconsistent in determining the distribution of aid therefore in violation of the SFRA,” a school district press release said.

“We need to pursue all avenues to protect our schools and to obtain our fair share of funding,” said Board of Education President Stephanie Wohlrab.