New Jersey has more school districts than pretty much anywhere else in the nation. Whether or not that's considered a good thing really depends on how you look at it.

Although having so many school districts might relate to the quality of education, it also affects our taxes. It's no surprise that New Jersey has some of the highest taxes in the nation, with a decent portion of that going toward our public schools.

Unfortunately, more school districts almost certainly mean higher taxes. When school districts merge, for example, it tends to bring taxes down while increasing the larger school districts' aid.


That, in turn, can help keep more individual schools in sync with one another. This stems from school programs, sports, and even shared resources for students.

In fact, the benefits tend to outweigh the negatives when it comes to district consolidation. This process is currently underway with the newly formed district from the merging of Highlands Elementary, Atlantic Highlands Elementary, and Henry Hudson Regional School in Monmouth County.

Previously, all three schools were their very own district. But thanks to consolidation, they'll finally be able to share resources that they previously were unable to.

Even more, the school boards will eventually go from three to one. And with a positive increase in school funding, it's a no-brainer that more districts across the state should consider consolidation.

Best schools in New Jersey

Another big plus with this move is a streamlined academic calendar. Right now, some New Jersey schools are out of sync on this one, especially when it comes to days off.

Take spring break, for example. Some schools give their students off the week before Easter, while others wait till after the holiday.

And some might not even bother syncing up with Easter and will just have their spring break the same week every year.

School Closed

When schools don't align their days off with one another, it could make it tougher for families to plan for their kids. That's especially true if friends or families go to other districts where days off don't align.

New Jersey's schools often don't even start on the same day in September. Now yes, certain situations may arise forcing a school to close such as snow or a power outage.

But in general, our schools should make an effort to at least keep our school calendars aligned when it comes to planned days off.

Even without more district consolidations (which almost certainly should help with the calendar), there's no reason why New Jersey shouldn't be following a master calendar when it comes to the academic school year.

calendar / time


Proposed school aid for NJ school districts in 2024-25

The state Department of Education announced proposed district-level school aid figures for the 2024-25 school year. They're listed below by county, ranked from the biggest increase from the current year to the biggest cuts (if any were made).

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

Top 30 public schools in New Jersey

These are the 30 highest-ranking public and charter schools in New Jersey based on the 2022-23 summative ratings provided by the state Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Report. The schools are listed in ascending order, with the highest rating being 100.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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