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New Jersey’s vo-tech school districts and county colleges will be receiving nearly $249 million for career and technical education (CTE) programs under legislation recently signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. 

The funding for career and technical education is part of a total $317 million in total appropriations made possible by the $500 million Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act passed by voters in 2018. 

“This funding is critical at a time when we have seen the growing demand for CTE far exceed the capacity available for interested students,” said NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas. “At the same time, a skills gap in New Jersey has left good-paying jobs unfilled. 

“These appropriations will help bridge that gap and ultimately strengthen New Jersey’s workforce pipeline. We thank the governor and the sponsors of the legislation for their support.” 

In addition to $222.9 million for vo-tech school districts and $26.4 million for county colleges, the package of bills signed July 1 by the governor also provides $66.1 million for school security projects and $6.6 million for water infrastructure repairs and upgrades in K-12 schools.  

The first bill signed into law, A-5889/S-3962 sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-2) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), appropriates $222,904,769 to fund 17 construction projects at county vocational technical school districts to expand enrollment capacity for career and technical education programs. A complete list of Round 1 projects can be found here. 

The second bill signed into law, A-5888/S-3961 sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) and Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), appropriates $26,456,996 to county colleges to construct or expand classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computer facilities, and other academic structures to increase CTE program capacity. The nine county colleges receiving Round 1 funding can be found here. 

The third bill signed into law, A-5887/S-3960 sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14) and Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), appropriates $6,608,212 for 26 water infrastructure projects in K-12 public schools. A second round of grant funding will be issued following lead testing results required during the 2021-2022 school year. 

The fourth bill signed into law, A-5886/S-3959 sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) and Dawn Addiego (D-8), appropriates $66,173,243 for school security projects, including the installation of silent panic alarms to alert law enforcement to an emergency inside the school. Other school security upgrades include surveillance cameras, intercoms, remote locking doors, shatter-resistant glass, and impact-rated vehicle barriers. A total 494 first round projects will be funded by the appropriation.