Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy, Department of Education, Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Announce Initial Round of Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act Projects

05/28/2021

The Murphy Administration is recommending $317.2 million in awards for initial round of SOCFBA
The projects will now go to the Legislature for final approval


TRENTON – Building on his commitment to ensuring a safe and high-quality educational experience for New Jersey’s students, Governor Phil Murphy today joined with Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan and Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges to recommend projects for approval by the Legislature as part of the first round of funds released under the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act (SOCFBA).

The grants—which will fund school security, water infrastructure improvements, and enhancement of career and technical education (CTE) in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges—are supported by $500 million in bonds approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018.  Round-one projects have been approved by the Murphy Administration and will now be transmitted to the Legislature for final approval.

“I have long believed that investments in our students and schools are investments in the future of our state,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”

“The infrastructure improvements announced today will fund school security and water infrastructure projects, as well as expand career and technical education offerings in our county vocational-technical schools,” said Acting Commissioner Allen-McMillan. “These are major investments that will provide students with greater opportunity, safety, and security.”

“Building a stronger and fairer New Jersey means providing our students with equitable access to high-quality, career-relevant academic programs that translate into meaningful jobs and lifelong success,” said Secretary Bridges. “These investments will enhance students’ access to experiential learning opportunities required to launch their careers in the Garden State and compete in New Jersey’s innovation economy.”

“This is an investment in future opportunities for our children,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “It will help provide them with job skills for the modern workforce, improve their safety and security in schoolrooms, and protect their health and well-being by ensuring clean water. It is an investment in their future and in the future of New Jersey, and I look forward to reviewing the proposed projects.”

“The funding for school security systems, such as silent panic alarms and remote locking and unlocking doors, will put districts in compliance with the safety procedures established in Alyssa’s Law. This is important for the safety of students and educators across the state,” said Senator Ron Rice. “I look forward to reviewing the proposed projects and seeing the impact they have on our districts.”

“The economic viability and competitiveness of New Jersey is inextricably linked to the strengths and skills of the state’s current and future workforce,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson. “Making the necessary investments in career and technical education programs will help us maintain current and attract new high-demand industries that are the engine of economic growth.”

“Our children deserve the chance to learn in peace,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo. “It has taken many years to get to this day. Alyssa’s family and community have been steadfast champions of the legislation that has brought us here and I commend them for that. Coupled with security measures already in place, this project funding can increase the chances of diffusing a bad situation without further harm to students and staff. I'm proud to see the project moving forward.”

The Murphy Administration is recommending approximately $317.2 million in awards for the initial round of SOCFBA. Second-round details and applications will be announced at a later date.

The Murphy Administration is transmitting the following to the Legislature for final approval:

County College CTE Projects – Approximately $26 million

The SOCFBA allocated funds for county colleges to construct or expand classrooms, laboratories, libraries, computer facilities, and other academic structures to increase CTE program capacity.

The first round of the SOCFBA will fund nine proposed projects, totaling approximately $26 million. These funds will be administered by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) with the support of the Educational Facilities Authority (EFA).

For the list of round-one projects in this category, click here.

County Vocational School District CTE Projects – Approximately $220.2 million

The SOCFBA allocated funds for construction projects that support CTE program expansion for County Vocational School Districts (CVSD). These projects will fund renovation and new construction to increase student capacity in select county vocational CTE programs, including related demolition, site improvements and physical plant upgrades, and furniture and equipment in renovated, reassigned, or new spaces related to county vocational CTE program expansion. Applicants were required to demonstrate that new student seats would be in county vocational CTE programs that prepare students for high-demand, technically-skilled careers.

The first round of the SOCFBA will fund 17 proposed projects, totaling approximately $220.2 million. These grants will be administered by the Department of Education (DOE).

For the list of round-one projects in this category, click here.

Water Infrastructure Projects – Approximately $5.6 million

The SOCFBA allocated funds for the construction, reconstruction, repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of water supply infrastructure in K-12 schools.
The first round of the SOCFBA will fund 26 proposed projects, totaling approximately $5.6 million. These grants will be administered by the DOE.

The second round of grant funding will be issued following lead testing results required during the 2021-2022 school year.

For the list of round-one projects in this category, click here.

School Security Projects — Approximately $65.4 million

The SOCFBA allocated funds for the installation of silent panic alarms to alert law enforcement during an emergency as required by Alyssa’s Law, and for other school security upgrades. Other school security upgrades include exterior lighting improvements, surveillance cameras, intercoms, remote locking/unlocking doors, shatter-resistant glass, signage improvements, generator installation, and impact-rated vehicle barriers.

The first round of the SOCFBA will fund 494 proposed projects, totaling approximately $65.4 million. These grants will be administered by the DOE.

For the list of round-one projects in this category, click here.