Brace for impact: Gov. Chris Christie told school districts on Wednesday to prepare for a 15% cut in state aid in the fiscal year 2011 budget.
According to NJ.com, the governor isn’t setting the cuts in stone–he told a roundtable discussion in Union that he wants to keep state aid flat. And he coupled his warning with a promise that the the state will give school districts “tools” to control salary, pension and benefit costs. But it’s clear that if there isn’t some serious horse-trading in Trenton before March 16, when the governor makes his budget announcement, the slashing will begin. The cuts for fiscal 2011 would be in addition to the mid-year freeze on $475 million in payments to school districts announced last week.
Verona Board of Education officials have already begun to prepare for the worst, issuing their own warning at last week’s Board meeting of possible “drastic” cuts to our school budget. Expect a serious discussion of the governor’s warning at the board’s budget meetings, which are scheduled for March 2, 16, and 30.