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The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday night uanimously approved legislation, supported by NJBIA, that would for the first time make nonprofit charter and renaissance schools eligible to receive state support for facilities projects through a new loan program.

The legislation, which is now listed on the Senate board list for a full vote on Jan. 8,  also revises laws governing school construction projects and the operations of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) by creating a framework for future school construction projects, including district, charter, and renaissance schools.

“NJBIA is pleased to support this legislation,” said NJBIA Vice President Althea D. Ford. “Investing in school construction compounds the benefits of infrastructure and workforce development, two important pro-growth investments. 

“Additionally, charter schools and renaissance schools are a critical part of our state’s education infrastructure and investing in their facilities strengthens the state’s ability to offer a broad array of choice to students and parents so that they can determine how to best prepare for career and college,” Ford said. 

According to a recent report, over $900 million in health and safety facility improvements are needed at charter and renaissance schools over the next decade. This includes a range of projects from boiler and air system upgrades to new facilities to address overcrowding. 

The legislation A-4496/S-3247, is sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) and Senator Andrew Zwicker (D-16).

This story was updated with committee vote after the vote occurred on Thursday night.