Jersey City’s Fulop, Lyles working to make up for $8.5M school funding loss

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles are working together to make up for the $8.5 million loss the district sustained after a new school funding formula was approved by the Legislature earlier this month. Fulop-Lyles

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We are working together to identify areas where we can cost share and ensure that this cut from Trenton does not impact our students,” Fulop said in a joint statement.

“Jersey City was slated to lose $100 million and credit is owed to our legislative delegation who clawed that back. Now, we will do everything we can to close this gap to ensure the continued progress of our schools.”

Some of the areas that are being discussed for cost sharing include eliminating the $2 million cost for police personnel in the schools, expanding recreation department programs to cover activities and after school programming in schools and assisting with various custodial costs – amongst other services.

“This demonstrates that even with these additional budgetary constraints, there is a shared commitment by all to provide the highest quality education for all of our students,” Lyles added in the same statement.

“Our goal is to continue the progress we have made that has led us on this successful path to full local control of our schools.”

Jersey City Education Association President Ron Greco previously told us that it was “extremely disappointing” that Hudson County’s legislators allowed the new school funding formula to pass along with the state budget and a new Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield bill.

Last week, the state Department of Education voted to return full local control to the Jersey City Public Schools following nearly 30 years of state monitoring.

The Jersey City Public School District is one of the largest school districts in the State and one of the most diverse cities with approximately 28,000 students in 41 schools and programs and is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in all schools for all children.

According to statistics provided by the city, 38 percent of JCPS students are Latino, 29 percent are African American, 18 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander and 13 percent are white.

Additionally, more than 12 percent of those same students are English Language Learners and many more speak languages other than English at home, while a total of 70 percent of the student population receives free or reduced lunch.