NJ's 2012-2013 Budget
New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie unveiled details of his 2012-2013 fiscal plan on February 21. Total spending is projected to be $32.1 billion with $8.8 billion appropriated to public education, according to NewsWorks. Governor Christie proposes a $108 million increase in higher education and $213 million more for the state’s 591 public school districts. The K-12 increase is 1.7 percent more than last year. Christie, according to a press release, is also proposing a number of reforms that include:
Basing funding on average daily attendance rather than a single day count.
Developing policies that enable districts to recruit, prepare, evaluate, compensate, develop, retain and recognize outstanding educators, and eliminate legal and contractual restrictions that impede schools from assuring a highly effective teacher in every classroom.
Providing educators with the tools they need to be successful by setting high standards for what students should know and be able to do, developing model curriculum to support educators as they teach those standards, and providing real time feedback through formative assessments so teachers can modify their work and differentiate instruction in real time.
Providing rich data reports to identify how well schools are meeting their mission of improving student outcomes, to identify specific areas for improvement, and to trigger differentiated interventions at the state level such as mandated curriculum and human capital practices.
Intervening in schools that do not create an environment conducive to high-quality teaching and learning by providing support through Regional Achievement Centers, requiring targeted turnaround strategies, and aggressively using existing authority to close or replace schools with new management and teachers if they do not improve within two academic cycles.
Other proposed reforms include evaluating teacher effectiveness, tenure based on effectiveness, creating the opportunity scholarship act, and removing roadblocks to the growth of high-quality charter schools.
Christie’s budget proposal also sets FY 2013 targets for the number of Advanced Placement tests taken at 85,464, up from 83,789 in FY 2012. It sets FY 2013 targets for the number of AP tests scored three or higher at 61,977, up from 60,761 in FY 2012. The proposal also sets targets for assessment performance, educator effectiveness, graduation rate, and school performance and efficiency. It includes a substantial increase in school choice aid from FY 2012 and a decrease in the NJ Stars I & II scholarship program.