Big Move On Plan To Eliminate Nearly 300 NJ School Districts

Gov. Phil Murphy has made a move that could ultimately eliminate nearly 300 NJ school districts. Here’s which districts could go.

Berkeley Township Elementary School, which belongs to one of the school districts that would be eliminated. (Google Earth)

NEW JERSEY — Gov. Phil Murphy has jumped on the bandwagon that could ultimately lead to the elimination of nearly 300 school districts (see list below).

Murphy gave $10 million to New Jersey communities last week to help promote shared services and study school consolidation. Of that, the governor agreed to set aside $2 million specifically for K-12 regionalization and countywide school district pilots.

The money will bring a much-sought-after spark to an effort started by Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has been pitching a 32-recommendation “Path to Progress” plan. Sweeney and 26 analysts and so-called experts helped draw up the plan last year.

The plan includes merging school districts — nearly 300 of them — to help save the state money.

“The goal is to eliminate the administration, put a principal in the school, get rid of the school district, leave a principal, let the regional high school become a K-12 district,” Sweeney said. “You go from 600 districts to 320.”

Those recommendations included in the “Path to Progress” include:

Merge all K-4, K-5, K-6, K-8, and K-9 school districts into K-12 regional districts to improve the quality of education and promote efficiency.
Install high-occupancy toll lanes (or HOT lane) on I-80, I-295, I-287, among others.
Allow the establishment of two countywide school district pilot programs.
Explore the viability of transferring major assets such as the New Jersey Turnpike system to the state pension system to lower the unfunded liability and generate new revenue streams for the pension system.
Create a Property Tax Assessment Study Commission to study the state’s tax assessment practices and make recommendations for countywide or regional tax assessment to ensure consistency and efficiency.

Murphy said the efforts enhance the administration’s ability to “guide and encourage our state’s diverse communities that are interested in pursuing consolidation and shared services.”

“As we lead our state towards the stronger and fairer economy that we hope to build together, it is our administration’s responsibility to provide these communities a platform from which to pursue efficient growth, achieve smart government and provide relief to local taxpayers,” he said.

Indeed, Sweeney appeared to view the governor’s money as an endorsement of his plan, saying he has long fought for shared services as an effective means of making government more efficient and providing taxpayer savings.

“K-12 regionalization, countywide school district pilots and shared services programs are a cornerstone of our Path to Progress plan to promote efficiency and lower property taxes,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney said reducing New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes needs to be a top priority to improve economic competitiveness, attract jobs and make the state affordable.

“School regionalization and countywide school districts will enable us to expand curriculum and educational opportunities, while holding down the school property taxes that make up more than half of the property tax bill statewide,” Sweeney said. “We have been meeting with leaders throughout the state from Sussex to Salem counties who are eager to make this a reality.”

Sweeney acknowledged his school consolidation plan would be unpopular, but he also believes that it could provide the state an additional $1 billion.

“That’s not a bad idea,” he added. “You’ll save probably close to about a billion dollars.”

If the school districts were to be consolidated, here are the K-6 and K-8 that would be merged/eliminated:

Absecon City, Atlantic
Brigantine City, Atlantic
Egg Harbor City, Atlantic
Estell Manor City, Atlantic
Folsom Boro, Atlantic
Galloway Twp, Atlantic
Hamilton Twp, Atlantic
Linwood City, Atlantic
Margate City, Atlantic
Mullica Twp, Atlantic
Northfield City, Atlantic
Port Republic City, Atlantic
Somers Point City, Atlantic
Ventnor City, Atlantic
Weymouth Twp, Atlantic
Allendale Boro, Bergen
Alpine Boro, Bergen
Carlstadt Boro, Bergen
Closter Boro, Bergen
Demarest Boro, Bergen
East Rutherford Boro, Bergen
Edgewater Boro, Bergen
Englewood Cliffs Boro, Bergen
Fairview Boro, Bergen
Franklin Lakes Boro, Bergen
Harrington Park Boro, Bergen
Haworth Boro, Bergen
Hillsdale Boro, Bergen
Ho Ho Kus Boro, Bergen
Little Ferry Boro, Bergen
Maywood Boro, Bergen
Montvale Boro, Bergen
Moonachie Boro, Bergen
Northvale Boro, Bergen
Norwood Boro, Bergen
Oakland Boro, Bergen
Old Tappan Boro, Bergen
Oradell Boro, Bergen
River Edge Boro, Bergen
River Vale Twp, Bergen
Rochelle Park Twp, Bergen
Saddle River Boro, Bergen
South Hackensack Twp, Bergen
Upper Saddle River Boro, Bergen
Woodcliff Lake Boro, Bergen
Wyckoff Twp, Bergen
Bass River Twp, Burlington
Beverly City, Burlington
Chesterfield Twp, Burlington
Delanco Twp, Burlington
Eastampton Twp, Burlington
Edgewater Park Twp, Burlington
Evesham Twp, Burlington
Hainesport Twp, Burlington
Lumberton Twp, Burlington
Mansfield Twp, Burlington
Medford Lakes Boro, Burlington
Medford Twp, Burlington
Mount Holly Twp, Burlington
Mount Laurel Twp, Burlington
New Hanover Twp, Burlington
North Hanover Twp, Burlington
Riverton, Burlington
Shamong Twp, Burlington
Southampton Twp, Burlington
Springfield Twp, Burlington
Tabernacle Twp, Burlington
Westampton, Burlington
Woodland Twp, Burlington
Barrington Boro, Camden
Bellmawr Boro, Camden
Berlin Boro, Camden
Berlin Twp, Camden
Brooklawn Boro, Camden
Clementon Boro, Camden
Gibbsboro Boro, Camden
Gloucester Twp, Camden
Laurel Springs Boro, Camden
Lawnside Boro, Camden
Magnolia Boro, Camden
Merchantville Boro, Camden
Mount Ephraim Boro, Camden
Runnemede Boro, Camden
Somerdale Boro, Camden
Stratford Boro, Camden
Oaklyn, Camden
Voorhees Twp, Camden
Waterford Twp, Camden
Woodlynne Boro, Camden
Avalon Boro, Cape May
Cape May City, Cape May
Dennis Twp, Cape May
Lower Twp, Cape May
North Wildwood City, Cape May
Stone Harbor Boro, Cape May
Upper Twp, Cape May
West Cape May Boro, Cape May
Wildwood Crest Boro, Cape May
Woodbine Boro, Cape May
Commercial Twp, Cumberland
Deerfield Twp, Cumberland
Downe Twp, Cumberland
Fairfield Twp, Cumberland
Greenwich Twp, Cumberland
Hopewell Twp, Cumberland
Lawrence Twp, Cumberland
Maurice River Twp, Cumberland
Stow Creek Twp, Cumberland
Upper Deerfield Twp, Cumberland
Essex Fells Boro, Essex
Fairfield Twp, Essex
North Caldwell Boro, Essex
Roseland Boro, Essex
East Greenwich Twp, Gloucester
Elk Twp, Gloucester
Franklin Twp, Gloucester
Greenwich Twp, Gloucester
Harrison Twp, Gloucester
Logan Twp, Gloucester
Mantua Twp, Gloucester
National Park Boro, Gloucester
South Harrison Twp, Gloucester
Swedesboro-Woolwich, Gloucester
Wenonah Boro, Gloucester
Westville Boro, Gloucester
Woodbury Heights Boro, Gloucester
East Newark Boro, Hudson
Guttenberg Town, Hudson
Alexandria Twp, Hunterdon
Bethlehem Twp, Hunterdon
Bloomsbury Boro, Hunterdon
Califon Boro, Hunterdon
Clinton Twp, Hunterdon
Clinton-Glen Gardner, Hunterdon
Delaware Twp, Hunterdon
East Amwell Twp, Hunterdon
Flemington-Raritan Reg, Hunterdon
Franklin Twp, Hunterdon
Frenchtown Boro, Hunterdon
Hampton Boro, Hunterdon
High Bridge Boro, Hunterdon
Holland Twp, Hunterdon
Kingwood Twp, Hunterdon
Lebanon Boro, Hunterdon
Lebanon Twp, Hunterdon
Milford Boro, Hunterdon
Readington Twp, Hunterdon
Tewksbury Twp, Hunterdon
Union Twp, Hunterdon
Cranbury Twp, Middlesex
Jamesburg Boro, Middlesex
Milltown Boro, Middlesex
Atlantic Highlands Boro, Monmouth
Avon Boro, Monmouth
Belmar Boro, Monmouth
Bradley Beach Boro, Monmouth
Brielle Boro, Monmouth
Colts Neck Twp, Monmouth
Deal Boro, Monmouth
Eatontown Boro, Monmouth
Fair Haven Boro, Monmouth
Farmingdale Boro, Monmouth
Freehold Boro, Monmouth
Freehold Twp, Monmouth
Highlands Boro, Monmouth
Howell Twp, Monmouth
Little Silver Boro, Monmouth
Manalapan-Englishtown Reg, Monmouth
Marlboro Twp, Monmouth
Millstone Twp, Monmouth
Monmouth Beach Boro, Monmouth
Neptune City, Monmouth
Oceanport Boro, Monmouth
Red Bank Boro, Monmouth
Roosevelt Boro, Monmouth
Rumson Boro, Monmouth
Sea Girt Boro, Monmouth
Shrewsbury Boro, Monmouth
Spring Lake Boro, Monmouth
Spring Lake Heights Boro, Monmouth
Tinton Falls, Monmouth
Union Beach, Monmouth
West Long Branch Boro, Monmouth
Boonton Twp, Morris
Chester Twp, Morris
Denville Twp, Morris
East Hanover Twp, Morris
Florham Park Boro, Morris
Hanover Twp, Morris
Harding Township, Morris
Lincoln Park Boro, Morris
Long Hill Twp, Morris
Mendham Boro, Morris
Mendham Twp, Morris
Mine Hill Twp, Morris
Morris Plains Boro, Morris
Mount Arlington Boro, Morris
Netcong Boro, Morris
Riverdale Boro, Morris
Rockaway Boro, Morris
Rockaway Twp, Morris
Washington Twp, Morris
Wharton Boro, Morris
Bay Head Boro, Ocean
Beach Haven Boro, Ocean
Berkeley Twp, Ocean
Eagleswood Twp, Ocean
Island Heights Boro, Ocean
Lakehurst Boro, Ocean
Lavallette Boro, Ocean
Little Egg Harbor Twp, Ocean
Long Beach Island, Ocean
Ocean Gate Boro, Ocean
Ocean Twp, Ocean
Seaside Heights Boro, Ocean
Stafford Twp, Ocean
Tuckerton Boro, Ocean
Bloomingdale Boro, Passaic
Haledon Boro, Passaic
Little Falls Twp, Passaic
North Haledon Boro, Passaic
Prospect Park Boro, Passaic
Ringwood Boro, Passaic
Totowa Boro, Passaic
Wanaque Boro, Passaic
Woodland Park, Passaic
Alloway Twp, Salem
Elsinboro Twp, Salem
Lower Alloways Creek, Salem
Mannington Twp, Salem
Oldmans Twp, Salem
Quinton Twp, Salem
Upper Pittsgrove Twp, Salem
Bedminster Twp, Somerset
Branchburg Twp, Somerset
Green Brook Twp, Somerset
South Bound Brook, Somerset
Warren Twp, Somerset
Watchung Boro, Somerset
Andover Reg, Sussex
Byram Twp, Sussex
Frankford Twp, Sussex
Franklin Boro, Sussex
Fredon Twp, Sussex
Green Twp, Sussex
Hamburg Boro, Sussex
Hampton Twp, Sussex
Hardyston Twp, Sussex
Lafayette Twp, Sussex
Montague Twp, Sussex
Ogdensburg Boro, Sussex
Sandyston-Walpack Twp, Sussex
Stanhope Boro, Sussex
Stillwater Twp, Sussex
Sussex-Wantage Regional, Sussex
Garwood Boro, Union
Mountainside Boro, Union
Winfield Twp, Union
Allamuchy Twp, Warren
Alpha Boro, Warren
Blairstown Twp, Warren
Franklin Twp, Warren
Frelinghuysen Twp, Warren
Great Meadows Regional, Warren
Greenwich Twp, Warren
Harmony Twp, Warren
Hope Twp, Warren
Knowlton Twp, Warren
Lopatcong Twp, Warren
Mansfield Twp, Warren
Oxford Twp, Warren
Pohatcong Twp, Warren
Washington Boro, Warren
Washington Twp, Warren
White Twp, Warren

– Tom Davis

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