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Inflationary pressures were the biggest reason behind a bump in proposed state funding in the 2023-24 fiscal year for many North Jersey school districts.Statewide, the Murphy administration proposed a total increase of $832 million in K-12 funding, according to figures released recently by the Department of Education. That would lift total state aid for the state's 600-odd sc...
Inflationary pressures were the biggest reason behind a bump in proposed state funding in the 2023-24 fiscal year for many North Jersey school districts.
Statewide, the Murphy administration proposed a total increase of $832 million in K-12 funding, according to figures released recently by the Department of Education. That would lift total state aid for the state's 600-odd school districts to a combined $10.7 billion, putting the Murphy administration closer to its goal of "fully funding" the state’s public schools by 2025, experts say.
It's important not to jump to conclusions just because one district saw big gains while another lost aid. What ultimately affects a school is its operating budget and how much of it is derived from local taxes.
"It is difficult to assess the relative impact on districts when calculating the percentage change just in terms of state aid," said school funding expert Danielle Farrie of the Education Law Center, an advocate for fair funding. "A large percentage loss of state aid in a district that is funded primarily through local funding is very different from a large percentage loss in a district that is predominantly funded through state aid. It is more instructive to look at the changes relative to each district’s operating budget."
Look up your district:NJ has released 2024 school funding figures. See how much will go to your district
Districts that are unable to raise the revenue they need from local property taxes — while continuing to deal with drops in state aid — feel the burden the most. Declines in state aid are usually linked to falling enrollment.
The state needs to pay attention to those districts, because they will be spending below what is considered an adequate rate per student and would likely face painful cuts to "classroom staff, social-emotional supports and other essential programs," Farrie said.
"The aid numbers may have been more unpredictable this year due to the impact of inflation and property values on how aid is calculated," Farrie said. "Some districts may have received more than they were expecting, and others much less. We are concerned about some districts’ ability to absorb these cuts, especially those spending below the formula’s adequacy target."
Bergen County districts saw some big gains, with around a 55% increase in aid over the previous year for Ridgefield and a 44% increase for Cliffside Park. All 75 Bergen school districts saw gains in state K-12 aid for fiscal year 2023-24 compared with the previous year, except three: Rockleigh, Waldwick and New Milford. New Milford saw a drop of around 13%.
Passaic County saw some significant proposed gains in state school aid. Woodland Park gained 68% and Passaic Valley Regional gained 40% compared with last year. Five of Passaic county's 20 school districts saw drops in aid. Lakeland Regional and West Milford Township lost 27% and 17.6%, respectively.
Morris County's Boonton Town and Morris Hills Regional saw gains of around 33% each. Five of Morris county's 39 school districts saw a drop in state aid this year. The biggest losers were Washington Township and Jefferson Township, at around 11% and 23%, respectively.
In a continuing trend, the North Jersey county to lose the most aid is Sussex, where rural districts reportedly have seen enrollment drops. Some 12 of the county's 25 districts lost aid compared with the previous year. Hopatcong lost 28%. Kittatinny Regional lost 23%. Green Township and Stillwater Township each lost around 22%.
Sussex County's Sandyston-Walpack Township and Newton saw the biggest gains from the previous year, up 32% and 21% in aid.
Sussex County has consistently seen annual drops in aid, except this year, when it increased by around 2%.
By TAPinto Hasbrouck HeightsGARFIELD, NJ – The Hasbrouck Heights/Garfield swim team swept New Milford on Monday in a NJIC swim meet in Garfield. The boys improved to 6-1 with a 109-54 victory over the Knights, while the girls defeated New Milford, 83-75, evening their record at 4-4.Pawel Dryzmala and Gian Lopez led the way, each winning two individual races and teaming for two relay wins. Jacob Hernandez picked up a victory in the 100 Free.On the girls side, the trio of Abigail Hernandez, Lucia Lo...
By TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights
GARFIELD, NJ – The Hasbrouck Heights/Garfield swim team swept New Milford on Monday in a NJIC swim meet in Garfield. The boys improved to 6-1 with a 109-54 victory over the Knights, while the girls defeated New Milford, 83-75, evening their record at 4-4.
Pawel Dryzmala and Gian Lopez led the way, each winning two individual races and teaming for two relay wins. Jacob Hernandez picked up a victory in the 100 Free.
On the girls side, the trio of Abigail Hernandez, Lucia Lopez and Xenia Lopez paced Hasbrouck Heights/Garfield to a tight victory. The trio teamed to kick off the meet with a win in the 200 Medley Relay. Xenia Lopez took the 200 Free, Hernandez the 200 IM and 100 Fly as the Aviators battled the Knights. Lucia Lopez grabbed a victory in the 100 Free and 100 Back, before the trio reunited to capture the 400 Freestyle Relay.
|Garfield 109, New Milford 54|
200 MR (meters)
|Garfield||Gian Lopez, Pawel Drzymala, Anthony Gasowski, Daniel Sickles||02:13.2|
|Garfield||Timothy Tran, Mykal Diaz, Jeremy Ore, Jacob Hernandez||02:14.6|
|New Milford||Santino Ermita, Ulysses Ermita, Nicholas Herrera, Jesse Swaim||02:20.2|
|Garfield||Dalton Chielowiec-Falone, Glenn Chmielowiec-Falone, Mikolaj Safin, Samuel Libreros||02:39.5|
200 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Josiah Swaim||02:47.6|
|New Milford||Sebastian Herrera||03:01.9|
|New Milford||Antonin Guillou||03:03.2|
200 IM (meters)
|New Milford||Ulysses Ermita||03:13.6|
50 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Santino Ermita||26.59|
|New Milford||Nicholas Herrera||32.57|
|New Milford||Luka Suric||40.36|
100 Fly (meters)
100 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Jesse Swaim||01:33.5|
500 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Nicholas Herrera||06:08.0|
200 FR (meters)
|New Milford||Ulysses Ermita, Josiah Swaim, Jesse Swaim, Santino Ermita||02:03.5|
|Garfield||Timothy Tran, Daniel Sickles, Jacob Hernandez, Alexander Faron||02:07.5|
|Garfield||Dalton Chielowiec-Falone, Mykal Diaz, Samuel Libreros, Glenn Chmielowiec-Falone||02:09.2|
100 Back (meters)
|New Milford||Ulysses Ermita||01:35.1|
100 Breast (meters)
|New Milford||Santino Ermita||01:18.4|
|New Milford||Sebastian Herrera||01:44.4|
|New Milford||Jesse Swaim||01:51.1|
400 FR (meters)
|Garfield||Gian Lopez, Jeremy Ore, Anthony Gasowski, Pawel Drzymala||04:21.5|
|Garfield||Samuel Libreros, Jacob Hernandez, Alexander Faron, Dalton Chielowiec-Falone||05:08.9|
|New Milford||Antonin Guillou, Nicholas Herrera, Josiah Swaim, Sebastian Herrera||05:16.1|
|Garfield 83, New Milford 75|
200 MR (meters)
|Garfield||Lucia Lopez, Kanzy Hassan, Abigail Hernandez, Xenia Lopez||02:26.6|
|New Milford||Maya Akselrod, Maya Nathanson, Averie Lee, Alexa Schmidt||02:29.2|
|Garfield||Isabella Soriano Pineda, Julia Jaskot, Sydney Davis, Riley Kearns||03:01.6|
200 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Averie Lee||02:49.1|
|New Milford||Belinda Ein||03:17.0|
|New Milford||Maria Prediger||04:18.3|
200 IM (meters)
|New Milford||Maya Nathanson||03:05.0|
|New Milford||Alexa Schmidt||03:27.4|
50 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Maya Akselrod||32.68|
|New Milford||Gabriella Bedoya||43.15|
|New Milford||Jordyn Delacruz||50.25|
100 Fly (meters)
|New Milford||Averie Lee||01:21.7|
100 Free (meters)
|Garfield||Isabella Soriano Pineda||01:21.3|
|New Milford||Belinda Ein||01:25.9|
|New Milford||Kelly Bambach||01:33.5|
|New Milford||Janai Berrocal||01:49.8|
500 Free (meters)
|New Milford||Maya Akselrod||05:32.9|
|New Milford||Maria Prediger||08:58.2|
200 FR (meters)
|New Milford||Kelly Bambach, Jordyn Delacruz, Gabriella Bedoya, Belinda Ein||02:49.2|
|New Milford||Averie Lee, Alexa Schmidt, Maya Nathanson, Maya Akselrod||02:13.6|
|Garfield||Kanzy Hassan, Sydney Davis, Riley Kearns, Julia Jaskot||02:38.8|
100 Back (meters)
|Garfield||Isabella Soriano Pineda||01:30.6|
|New Milford||Alexa Schmidt||01:38.5|
|New Milford||Kelly Bambach||01:42.0|
|New Milford||Natalia Stankiewicz||02:20.5|
100 Breast (meters)
|New Milford||Maya Nathanson||01:31.7|
|New Milford||Gabriella Bedoya||02:12.9|
400 FR (meters)
|Garfield||Xenia Lopez, Lucia Lopez, Kanzy Hassan, Abigail Hernandez||05:02.4|
|New Milford||Belinda Ein, Janai Berrocal, Gabriella Bedoya, Kelly Bambach||06:40.8|
Interested in marketing your business on TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro? Our readers can be your customers. Email [email protected]
WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- Firefighters are making progress against a fire that has been burning in Passaic County for days.Saturday, officials said the Kanouse fire in West Milford is 100 percent contained.The fire burned 972 acres, and five buildings in the area were evacuated as a precaution.Echo Lake Road remained closed Sa...
WEST MILFORD, N.J. -- Firefighters are making progress against a fire that has been burning in Passaic County for days.
Saturday, officials said the Kanouse fire in West Milford is 100 percent contained.
The fire burned 972 acres, and five buildings in the area were evacuated as a precaution.
Echo Lake Road remained closed Saturday between Route 23 and Macopin Road due to weakened and dead trees along the road. Forest Fire Service crews will remain on scene to monitor the area and improve containment lines.
The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.
Thursday night, firefighters converged in the woods in West Milford, right behind Michael Ryan's home near Sherwood Court, where the fire continued to smolder.
"What they're doing now is going through the woods here, and just putting out some of the remaining fires. They did a controlled burn the other day, so they're going through it, and it seems they have it under control now, which is great," West Milford resident Michael Ryan said.
Overnight Thursday, flames peeked through the trees in the night sky.
"We're actively monitoring, and trying to stay strong here. Should we need to leave, we're ready to go," resident Andrew Mancini said. "Obviously if we need to pack up and go - it's all sentimental items. things that can't be replaced. Family photos, heirlooms."
Firefighters worked around the clock in 24-hour shifts to attack the fire from every angle.
"Really glad to see what they're doing. They're just doing such a great job protecting the community," Ryan said.
Firefighters were using helicopters to drop water on the forest.
"We have great confidence in our control lines. We will continue to mop up, patrol, cut down any dead trees," said Greg McLaughlin of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.
Officials said they faced a serious situation overnight Thursday, including embers flying and starting new fires. They said warm temperatures, dry vegetation and dying trees infested with bugs fueled the blaze.
"With the dying of the ash trees, that opportunity for the fire to climb up into those dead trees is what we started to see yesterday, and the wind picking up and carrying those embers and spotting it ahead of us is what's caused some of the problem," said NJ DEP Assistant Commissioner John Cecil.
One family was under mandatory evacuation, others voluntary. All evacuations had been lifted by Friday night, and no structures were threatened.
Billowing smoke caused haze for miles.
"The smell was pretty bad. My eyes were burning as I was driving up here. I was actually coughing and I had the windows closed in my car," said Jennifer Petruccelli, who owns a shop in West Milford.
"The terrain is rocky, steep. There's risk from fallen trees, rolling logs, burning debris. So what we're trying to do is establish control lines," said Greg McLaughlin of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.
All this came while the region saw record high temperatures.
"It's very fatiguing. You start seeing that fatigue set in when you are going day after day and through the night," McLaughlin said.
It's the largest wildfire in the region since 2010, but fortunately no injuries have been reported.
"I've lived here for 40 years and this is the first fire I've seen back there," said Richard Keller.
Christine Sloan is an Emmy Award-winning reporter, who covers New Jersey for CBS 2 New York. Sloan re-joined the station in January 2023. She also worked at CBS 2 New York from 2004 to 2016.
For many of us here in New Milford, NJ and our surrounding neighborhoods, it is no secret that the New Milford Swim Club (NMSC) has fallen on hard times. The swim club has been around since 1959 and is an icon of the area. It was the first of its kind and inspired the creation of several other surrounding pools. This is a place that has gone from so many members there was a wait list to purchase a membership to financial ruin. The club closed prematurely last summer as a result of a lack of funds to remain open. Membership has been in declin...
For many of us here in New Milford, NJ and our surrounding neighborhoods, it is no secret that the New Milford Swim Club (NMSC) has fallen on hard times. The swim club has been around since 1959 and is an icon of the area. It was the first of its kind and inspired the creation of several other surrounding pools. This is a place that has gone from so many members there was a wait list to purchase a membership to financial ruin. The club closed prematurely last summer as a result of a lack of funds to remain open. Membership has been in decline for years as a result of poor upkeep and mismanagement. Many community members have come together to form the Committee to Save the Swim Club and do just that, save the swim club through restoration, renovation, and rebranding. The last thing we want to see is this beautiful space become abandoned land.
With several new members on the Board of Trustees, the Board and the Committee to Save the Swim Club are working hard behind the scenes to create solutions to the myriad of problems of the club. We are creating financially stable and sustainable budgets, finding ways to cut costs, while still offering the members of the pool a great experience and increasing membership by reaching out to local school districts, recreation departments, and neighboring towns.
When asked why people left the NMSC, one of the most frequent responses was the state of the bathhouses. While the actual structure of the brick bathhouse is still solid, the inside is run down, hasn't been updated, and needs basic repairs. They have become a hodgepodge of plumbing work from the 1960s to the modern day making repairs labor-intensive and not effective. Repairs were done by "MacGyvering" things together which have only compounded the plumbing issues. On top of the basic plumbing work, the bathrooms need industrial toilets that can handle the traffic of the bathhouse, new sinks, a new floor, updated mirrors, baby changing tables in the men’s and women’s room, and power washing and repairing the outside of the building. These are all necessary in the buildings to get them up to the standards we all expect from a public restroom.
If you are local and able to help with donations of these items or have a connection to where we can purchase these items or if you can help us with installation, we could use this as well! If you do not have the know-how or the connections, a donation will do just as much good.
Thank you so much for helping the club get back on its feet with the renovations needed in the bathhouses.
WEST MILFORD, NJ - For the third day, New Jersey...
This is the largest fire in North Jersey since 2010, and it is only growing larger. The Kanouse Fire is now nearly a thousand acres in size at 975 acres.
Fire crews have been working through the night, some of them for longer than 24 hours.
Officials have increased the number of firefighters fighting the fire from 35 to 50.
So far, the fire is only 65 percent contained. According to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service to get it 100% contained, they’re going to need significant rainfall, hopefully coming this weekend.
However, fire conditions are continuing to worsen, with wind spreading the fire across a larger and larger area.
Aerial view of the scene.
The New Jersey forest fire service admitted that Thursday night they were confident they had a handle on this firefight.
But then conditions worsened, temperatures rose and winds increased.
They had the fire in the containment area, but an ember was picked up by the wind, and it flew across Lake Echo, which is about a half mile wide, starting a new fire.
Inside this forest are dying ash trees, eaten out by an invasive insect, the emerald ash borer, and they’re going up like paper.
Fire is being brought up in the trees, all the way up to the canopy and the wind is only spreading it.
"I just want to stress with all of you and try to help the public understand, we've got a lot of environment factors going on," said John Cecil, assistant, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of environmental protection. "We've got really warm conditions, we've got a changing climate, we've got the impact of these invasive plants and insects - all of that coming together to kind of exacerbate to what we typically would expect as of normal fire conditions here in the Oak Hickory Forest."
FOX 5 NY's Lissette Nun?ez has the story.
Only one homeowner had to be evacuated.
But there are no evaluation orders in place.
That could change all it takes is one ember to be picked up by the wind and start a new fire.
Last month, a wildfire in the Pine Barrens threatened over a dozen homes in Little Egg Harbor, not far from the site of a massive forest fire in 2007 at an Air National Guard target range. That fire burned nearly 27 square miles.
In this photo provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a massive 2,500-acre forest fire burns in Ocean County, N.J., early Wednesday, April 12, 2023, as firefighters battle the blaze. The fire started late Tuesday, April 11, and is burning across some 2,500 acres (about 1,000 hectares). (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection via AP)
April is the peak month for forest fires in New Jersey, officials said, and despite its status as the nation's most densely populated state, 40% of it is forest.
There are about 1,500 wildfires a year in New Jersey, according to the state Forest Fire Service.
The Associated Press wire services helped contribute to this story.