Governor Murphy visits the city of Passaic to highlight nearly $2 billion in budget investments for school infrastructure

The allocated funds will support high quality teaching and learning environments

Passaic City – Governor Phil Murphy visited Passaic Public Schools’ Dayton Avenue campus today to highlight education investments in his Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) budget. Over the past five years, the Murphy administration has committed to building a top-notch education system with equity at the forefront for all New Jersey students.

As part of the FY2023 budget agreement, the state allocated $1.55 billion to support the School Development Authority (SDA) 2022 Strategic Plan to advance more than a dozen school construction projects in SDA districts through FY2026, and an additional $350 million for regular facilities projects. Operating Districts. These funds will be allocated through the Debt Relief 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 emergency projects will be funded through the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and SDA. Combined, these investments represent the most significant investment in school construction in a decade.

“The academic success of all New Jersey students is a top priority for my administration,” Governor Murphy said. “The investment required by SDA and DOE will ensure that our schools have the proper infrastructure for our students to thrive in an educational environment. These children are the future leaders of our state, and every child deserves a world-class education and school in which to learn and grow.”

The governor attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dayton Avenue Academic Campus in Passaic City, one of the largest SDA projects in the state, costing approximately $241 million. The new 448,000-square-foot campus, which broke ground in 2018, will house four schools that will educate 3,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade:

  • Abraham Lincoln School (Pre-K program) – 28 classrooms, three special rooms, and a courtyard play area.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Primary School – 33 general classrooms, five self-contained special education classrooms, three science laboratories, media center, music room, and gym.
  • Allen Ochoa Gifted and Talented Academy (Magnet School Program) – 28 general classrooms, three self-contained special education classrooms, three science labs, art room, dance studio, vocal music room, media center, two learning areas, and cafeteria. .
  • Muhammad Ali Middle School – 27 general classrooms, six self-contained special education classrooms, three science labs, four project labs, three learning areas, gym, cafeteria as well as classrooms dedicated to art.

“SDA is pleased to play an important role in creating an environment that fosters learning and development for students – the future leaders of our state. We take this responsibility seriously,” said Manuel Da Silva, CEO of the New Jersey School Development Authority. “Thanks to the Governor and the State Legislature, strong funding allocated to the state’s school building program has allowed us to move forward with the projects identified in our 2022 Strategic Plan Update. This funding supports the delivery of schools in Passaic and communities across the state to address critical capacity and facility gaps.”

“Today we celebrate our continued commitment to education funding in this state. While we have a long way to go in our collective efforts, this year’s budget puts us close to $2 billion to ensure all New Jersey children have access to state-of-the-art classrooms. The Dayton Avenue Campus will serve thousands of students in the city of Passaic. It’s going to be life changing. said Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz. “This transformative investment in school infrastructure will allow for similar projects across the state, improving the educational environment for the countless students who call New Jersey home.”

“This is the type of strategic investment supported by a resourceful state budget that leverages resources to upgrade and improve New Jersey’s educational infrastructure,” said Senator Paul Sarlow, who has represented the city of Passaic in the Legislature for 20 years. “We are taking advantage of the opportunity to invest in communities across the state. I have worked determinedly for two decades to help the City of Passaic receive state funding to build new schools, including the Dayton Avenue Academic Campus. It is a construction project that will provide long-term benefits to students and teachers with facilities that support academic progress.

“The opening of the Dayton Avenue Academic Campus is a historic day for the City of Passaic,” Assemblyman Gary Schaer said. “This state-of-the-art complex represents transformative changes in public schools to ensure every child receives the quality education they deserve. I am incredibly grateful to Governor Murphy, as well as state and local partners; the Dayton Avenue Educational Campus is an unprecedented investment in the future of Passaic.”

“Governor Murphy is committed to expanding educational opportunities in communities like ours to ensure equity in the development of our children,” Passaic City Mayor Hector Lora said. “Today is the realization of a dream that many have worked hard for, including Senator Sarlow, Assemblyman Schaer, the Passaic City Board of Education, and other state and local leaders. I look forward to being mayor of this city and working with leaders who will continue to invest in the future of our children. Proud to be able to.

“As a kid in the downtown area of ​​Passaic City, I can say that a school complex in the downtown area is long overdue. We are very excited to see a modern 21st century academic campus in this area and we are even more excited for the students who will benefit from it not only physically, but Will definitely benefit from all that has to be offered academically and programmatically. said Passaic Schools Superintendent Sandra Montanez-Diodonet.

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