Cerf: State working on new school funding formula

TRENTON – Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said he is working on a new school funding formula, telling the Senate Budget Committee there is room for improvement.

“I think we can come up with a better, fairer formula,” he said at a Senate Budget hearing on Monday.

Cerf said he is looking into working on making changes, after a question was posed by Sen. Paul Sarlo, but noted that there isn’t a formal process underway.

The education head added that he intends “to faithfully implement the law,” regarding a future Supreme Court decision on school funding.  

Cerf added that he supports the proposed cap on superintendent salaries. Some school districts, like Newark, are given waivers from the cap, given the enormous size of the  student body. There are 39,000 students in the Newark Public School District.

On charter schools, Sarlo said he is “not a large proponent,” especially regarding ones that, he said,  are “popping up” in good school districts where charters “siphon public dollars away from them.”

Cerf said the premise is that the dollars are being taken away from traditional public schools and it should more precisely be presented as money being sent to “different kinds of public schools.” Cerf: State working on new school funding formula