The state's full Senate is scheduled to vote June 27 on a bill to protect children who attend nonpublic schools, which includes those in Catholic institutions.
The Secure Schools for All Children Act unanimously advanced through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on June 23.
Gov. Chris Christie’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget eliminates any mention of security aid for nonpublic schools. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget allocated nonpublic security monies in the amount of $3.75 million, or roughly $25 per pupil.
Introduced earlier this year by Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer, the Secure Schools for All Children Act establishes a “state aid program for the provision of security services, equipment, or technology to help ensure a safe and secure school environment for students attending nonpublic schools.” It passed the state Assembly in April and moved out of the Senate Education Committee on June 16.
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee met on both the Senate and Assembly versions of the bill (A2689 and S754) on June 23 in Trenton. One of the main tasks of the committee was to negotiate the per-pupil funding amount.
There are two legislators on the committee that represent districts within the Diocese of Trenton: Sen. Jennifer Beck and Sen. Linda Greenstein. The New Jersey Catholic Conference and the New Jersey Network of Catholic School Families have made it a priority to contact legislators in Trenton with its concern for the security of its children. Those wishing to make their voice heard are encouraged to contact these legislators through the Votervoice link on the New Jersey Catholic Conference website.[[In-content Ad]]