Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey are pleased to announce Governor Phil Murphy signed their bill designed to unburden the Tinton Falls School District into law on May 16.
The bill (A1114) requires new students residing on Naval Weapons Station Earle to attend the Colts Neck School District for grades K-8. Traditionally, students who live on the base -- the residential section of which is located within Colts Neck -- attended school in Tinton Falls. However, the district was not compensated for the additional students and as a result faced an undue financial burden.
“We are very pleased that Governor Phil Murphy has signed our bill into law to support the Tinton Falls School District by requiring students to attend school within their district. For too long, Tinton Falls has shouldered the burden of educating students living on the base -- students who should have attended Colts Neck -- without funding reflective of that enrollment increase. We look forward to working with administrators from both the Tinton Falls and Colts Neck districts to implement this change as efficiently as possible,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.
“This is an exciting day for the Tinton Falls School District, which has long struggled under the financial weight of educating the entire Naval Weapons Station Earle student population. Not only have past districting practices negatively impacted district budgets, it has caused taxpayers to fund the education of students who do not go to school within their district,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey.
This bill provides that beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the students who reside on the federal property be enrolled in the schools of the district in which the students reside in accordance with an enrollment schedule determined by the executive county superintendent of schools. The enrollment schedule must provide for the transition, over a period of four school years, of all students enrolled in the designated district to enrollment in the schools of the district in which the pupils reside, so that by July 1, 2021 all students are enrolled in the schools of the district in which they reside. The bill allows a student an option to continue in the school of the designated district he is attending on the bill’s effective date until graduation from that school.
As of 2016, there were 68 Earle students that attended the Tinton Falls School District.