Murphy visits Fort Lee HS to highlight increased school funding in proposed budget

BY Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent |

Gov. Phil Murphy held another event Monday to sell his budget proposal for next year, this time at Fort Lee High School. The Fort Lee district is slated for a 12 percent increase in state aid.

Overall, Murphy is increasing so-called formula aid by $206 million on top of the $8.5 billion already committed.

Under a new formula enacted last year and based on enrollment, 368 districts are getting more aid in the new budget, 197 are getting less and 12 are flat.

Murphy was asked what he’d say to the districts getting less.

“We have enormous empathy and sympathy with the challenges. The demographic shifts are what they are in the state. We’re trying our best to meet with everybody and we have not said no to anybody, and try to meet with the commissioner and his team and our front office to try to figure out as best we can ways to cushion the evolution of the reality of the demographics in the state,” he said.

The governor is visiting schools that make out well under his budget plan. Last week he was in West Orange, which is getting a 9 percent increase.