OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey applauded the release of $10 million in funding for shared services and school district consolidation in New Jersey following years of advocacy in the Legislature in support of both policies.
The $10 million will be made available to qualifying towns through “Shared Services and School District Consolidation Study and Implementation Grants,” and will be used to create a new program titled the Local Efficiency Program (LEAP). Under LEAP, towns can apply for reimbursements to cover the costs of implementing or transitioning to shared services. Additional "Challenge Grants" will award $150,000 divided between up to three qualifying governing bodies within each county, with a goal of spurring competition and encouraging towns, counties, and municipal authorities to develop the best plan possible for their residents.
Of the $10 million, $3.15 million will be dedicated to Challenge Grants, $1.05 million will be made available to counties to identify shared services opportunities, and $5.8 million will be made available for general implementation grants. Of the $5.8 million for implementation grants, $2 million will be set aside to partially support studies of district and county-wide school administration consolidation.
“We’re glad to announce this funding for Monmouth County towns and schools, and excited to see what kind of savings these grants make possible,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “Bloated administrative costs have made property taxes less and less affordable for our residents, but with a strong shared services program, we can help towns cut down on expensive programs and create real savings for our residents.”
“New Jerseyans deserve a more efficient government - a government that doesn’t waste a dime of their taxes and ensures that every dollar spent has a bigger return for our taxpayers,” said Assemblywoman Downey (D-Freehold). “These grants are the next step on the path toward making our schools and municipalities more efficient, and we’re grateful to everyone who joined us in the fight for consolidating costs.