Jul 28, 2014
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Hopatcong, Sparta Schools Get Small State Aid Increase

Sparta receives 1.1 percent increase, while Hopatcong sees 0.3 bump for 2014-15 school year.

Hopatcong, Sparta Schools Get Small State Aid Increase
Hopatcong and Sparta school districts will each receive a slight increase in state aid next year.

The Christie administration announced last week a record $12.9 billion would go to New Jersey schools for the 2014-15 school year with each school district getting a bump in aid.

The overall aid comprises 37.5-percent of the state’s $34.4 billion budget, which was presented by Gov. Chris Christie last Tuesday. The $12.9 billion amount is an increase of $36.8 million over last year.

Sparta schools will receive a slight 1.1 percent increase in aid with $5,943,150 in 2014-15, a $66,060 bump from this year's $5,877,090.

Hopatcong schools will get a 0.3 percent increase with $11,383,175, a $33,810 bump from $11,349,365 this year.

Two funds received special attention in the school budgeting, according to the administration, including Per-Pupil Growth Aid and PARCC Readiness. The Per-Pupil Growth Aid money “can be used for virtually any general fund budget item. The decision on where to spend these funds will be made at the local level,” according to the governor’s office.

The PARCC Readiness aid was infused to help districts realign core standards for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC testing will replace NJ ASK and HSPA testing by the spring of 2015.

All school districts are now required to keep year-over-year costs below a 2-percent tax levy increase. If any dollars (not used for health or pension costs) go beyond that threshold, a special vote is needed for the public to approve.

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