Gopal Applauds Signing of Earle Bill

Senator Vin Gopal is pleased to announce Governor Phil Murphy signed bill S1918 into law.

The bill requires new students residing on Naval Weapons Station Earle to attend the Colts Neck School District for grades K-8. Traditionally, students who live on the base -- the residential section of which is located within Colts Neck -- attended school in Tinton Falls. However, the district was not compensated fairly for the additional students and as a result faced an undue financial burden.

“Tinton Falls has been disparately impacted by educating the entire student population at Naval Weapons Station Earle without proper funding for far too long, placing an undue burden on not only the district but taxpayers as well,” said Sen. Vin Gopal.

“I am extremely pleased that Governor Phil Murphy has seen the merit in the bill. By signing the Earle Bill into law, Gov. Murphy has joined us in not only supporting the Tinton Falls School District, which was in dire need of support, but the taxpayers of Tinton Falls as well.”

“I look forward to working with both the Tinton Falls and Colts Neck schools districts to ensure a smooth transition for staff, students, administrators and parents.”

This bill provides that beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the students who reside on the federal property be enrolled in the schools of the district in which the students reside in accordance with an enrollment schedule determined by the executive county superintendent of schools.  The enrollment schedule must provide for the transition, over a period of four school years, of all students enrolled in the designated district to enrollment in the schools of the district in which the pupils reside, so that by July 1, 2021 all students are enrolled in the schools of the district in which they reside.  The bill allows a student an option to continue in the school of the designated district he is attending on the bill’s effective date until graduation from that school.

As of 2016, there were 68 Earle students that attended the Tinton Falls School District. Two students were homeschooled.

Senator Gopal’s Legislative District 11 colleagues, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey, introduced an identical bill (A1114) in the Assembly.