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Murphy Highlights Education Investments

Gov. Phil Murphy today visited the Passaic Public School’s Dayton Avenue Campus to highlight education investments included in the state’s 2023 budget. The state allocated $1.55 billion to support the Schools Development Authority’s (SDA) 2022 Strategic Plan to advance more than a dozen school construction projects in SDA districts through FY2026, and an additional $350 million for facilities projects in regular operating districts. The Murphy Administration says these funds will be appropriated through the Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund and will not increase the state’s debt burden. $10 million for charter and renaissance school facility improvements and $75 million for capital maintenance and emergent projects will be funded through the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and SDA.

“The educational success of all New Jersey students is a top priority for my Administration,” Murphy said. “The necessary investments to SDA and DOE will see that our schools possess the proper infrastructure for our students to thrive in their educational environments. These children are our state’s future leaders, and every child deserves a world-class education and school in which to learn and to grow.”

The Governor attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Dayton Avenue Educational Campus in Passaic City, one of the largest SDA projects in the state, costing nearly $241 million. The new 448,000 square-foot campus, which broke ground in 2018, will house four schools educating up to 3,000 students from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade, including:

  • Abraham Lincoln School (Pre-K program) – 28 classrooms, three specialized rooms, and a courtyard play area.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Elementary School – 33 general classrooms, five self-contained special education classrooms, three science labs, media center, music room, and gym.
  • Ellen Ochoa Gifted and Talented Academy (Magnet School program) – 28 general classrooms, three self-contained special educational classrooms, three science labs, art room, dance studio, vocal music room, media center, two Teach to One Learning Areas, and cafeteria.
  • Muhammad Ali Middle School – 27 general classrooms, six self-contained special education classrooms, three science labs, four project labs, three Teach to One Learning Areas, gym, cafeteria as well as classrooms dedicated to the arts.

“The SDA is gratified to play a vital role in creating an environment that fosters the learning and development for our State’s future leaders – the students. We take this responsibility very seriously,” said Manuel Da Silva, CEO of New Jersey Schools Development Authority. “Thanks to the Governor and the State Legislature, the robust funding allocated to the State’s school construction program has allowed us to move ahead with projects identified in our 2022 Strategic Plan update. This funding supports the delivery of schools in Passaic and communities throughout the State to address significant capacity and facility deficiencies.”

Senator Paul Sarlo added, “We are taking advantage of the opportunity to invest in communities throughout the state. I have worked with determination over two decades to help provide the City of Passaic with state funding to build new schools, including the Dayton Avenue Educational Campus. This is a construction project that will provide long-term benefits for students and educators with facilities that will support educational progress.”

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