By: Kaitlyn Kudriavetz, Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Friday to authorize the distribution of Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act Grants to school districts and county colleges throughout the state.
The funds awarded will go towards covering security, water infrastructure repairs/enhancements and improvement of career and technical education.
“This is an investment that will benefit students throughout the state,” Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan said in a release. “It will lead to safer school facilities, ensure clean water, and help county vocational-technical schools grow programs to provide career readiness skills that students need.”
The first round of grants to be distributed as approved in May will total $317.2 million and will be given out on a rolling basis dependent on final grant revisions and reimbursement requests. Details regarding the second round of grants will be released at a later date.
Of the $317.2 million that’s scheduled to be distributed, nearly $223 million will go towards County vo-tech school districts’ career and technical education (CTE) programs. This includes construction of new facilities and renovations to certain county vo-tech programs, and a few South Jersey schools are included in the first round of grant distribution. The Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) and Cumberland Tech will receive $12 million and $2.25 million, respectively.
Additonally, nearly $26 million will be distributed to a number of county colleges throughout the state to support their CTE programs. Ocean County College will receive $2.1 million, and Atlantic Cape Community College will get $4 million in funding from the state.
The remaining $6.6 million in funding for this program will go towards schools’ water infrastructure projects. New Jersey is funding a total of 494 proposed projects in the first round of Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act grants.
“We must ensure a safe and high-quality educational experience for students across our state,” Gov. Murphy said in a release. “These projects will help our school districts and institutions of higher education keep students safe and healthy, while also ensuring that they are ready for the careers of future.”
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.