U.S. Education Department Approves $268M To Benefit N.J. Schools

middle school lakewood tlsNew Jersey’s application for $268 million for educators’ salaries and benefits has been approved, the U.S. Department of Education said today. The state will use its own formula to determine which districts get money — and how much. Gov. Chris Christie’s office, which could not be reached immediately for comment, had said it would wait at least until the application was approved to say which districts will get funding.

The money can be used for a wide range of salaries and perks, including transportation or student loan reimbursements for teachers, librarians, coaches, custodians and other workers outside the superintendent’s office.

But the funding, part of a $26 billion stimulus package Congress passed last month to help states, is being billed as money that will help save up to 3,900 teachers’ jobs.

“This federal funding comes at a critical time for New Jersey schools and will help ensure that our students are provided with the educational opportunities they need and deserve as they begin a new school year,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) in a statement. “With this funding, we will be able to keep nearly 4,000 New Jersey teachers in the classroom and off the unemployment line.”

Gov. Chris Christie applied for the money on Wednesday. The three-page application asked the state to select how it would distribute the money – choosing either a federal or state formula — and guarantee it complied with various rules under the program. Read more in Star Ledger.

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