The New Jersey School Boards Association has issued a new report, “Unfunded and Underfunded State and Federal Mandates: A Burden on Local School Districts.”

Released at the May 13 meeting of the NJSBA Board of Directors, the final report includes the results of a statewide survey of school board presidents, superintendents and school business administrators.

“While we often express concern about ‘unfunded mandates,’ a major problem is state and federal requirements that come with some financing, but nowhere near the level needed,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “Local school districts, and their taxpayers, are left to make up the difference.”

The report addresses special education/IDEA, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the AchieveNJ evaluation system, the state assessment, and even workers’ compensation requirements.

“Most of these are well-intentioned programs, but chronic under-funding presents a financial burden to school districts,” said Feinsod.

This report was developed as part of a 2015-2016 NJSBA goal to build upon the Association’s previous work on unfunded state and federal mandates and to identify their impact on local boards of education.


The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.