2009)(Application). In the Application, the State represented that it would useapproximately $956 million in SFSF funds to support the State’s primary K-12 formula atthe total level of $5.8 billion for FY2010.
See Application, at 6, 10. Thus, under theState’s proposal, % of primary formula funding would consist of federal funds providedthrough the SFSF program. Further, the $5.8 billion in primary formula support includes
funding to restore primary formula funding to the FY2009 level
$150 millionfor an equity and adequacy adjustment required by the State’s funding formula, theSchool Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA).
Based on New Jersey’s commitment touse SFSF funds to provide primary formula aid at this specified level, and to partiallyimplement an equity and adequacy adjustment in the State’s new formula, theDepartment approved the application and released the requested amount of SFSF funds.On February 11, 2010, New Jersey, through an Executive Order issued by the Governor,advised local school districts that State formula aid would be reduced by a total of $476million for FY2010. Office of the Governor, Press Packet from Governor’s Address toSpecial Legislative Session (February 11, 2010) athttp://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552010/approved/20100211a.html. This Stateaid reduction includes $350 million in primary formula aid supported by SFSF funds, or% of the total aid cut. As a result, New Jersey has cut primary formula aid from %5.8billion to approximately $5.45 billion for FY2010.As we explain, New Jersey’s February 11
cut in FY2010 primary formula aid is notonly inconsistent with the State’s approved Application, but also subverts Congressionalrequirements for the SFSF program established in the American Recovery andReinvestment Act (ARRA)>First, it is clear that New Jersey has reduced primary formula aid below the level of State’s commitment assured in the Application, as approved by the Department. Underthe ARRA, Governors “
” use SFSF funds to provide the amount of fundsnecessary to “restore” in primary formula aid in FY21010 to the greater of the level inFY2008 or FY2009, and “to allow existing State formulae increases to supportelementary and secondary education for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to be implementedand allow funding for phasing in State equity and adequacy adjustments,” if enactedunder state law prior to October 1, 2008. P.L. 111-5, (H.R.1), February 17, 2009; 123Stat. 115, as amended by P.L. 111-8 (H.R.1105), the Omnibus Appropriations Act 2009,Division A, Sec. 523; March 11, 2009; 123 Stat. 524, Title XIV, Sec. 14002(a)(i)(II).
The State designated “equalization aid” in its funding formula as “primary” for purposes of the SFSFProgram. Application, Attachment II, E-5.
The $150 million included in the primary formula aid level for FY2010 represents one-third of anequity and adequacy adjustment of $450 million required under the SFRA. As the State indicates in theApplication, the level of State support necessary to fully fund the equity adjustment would have been $6.1billion. Application, at 6.