9th District Delegation Opposes State Funding Cuts for Local Schools

Aug 01, 2018

Fourteen school districts within the 9th Legislative District are facing funding cuts from the state, including Beach Haven, Little Egg Harbor, Pinelands, Stafford and Tuckerton. Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have lambasted Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of S-2/A-2, stating, “For very compelling reasons, we voted against the school funding bill … and wrote the Governor directly calling on him to veto it.

“In our letter to the Governor,” the legislators added, “we cited the fact that a number of our constituent school districts that will lose funding were still recovering from the catastrophic damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.”

As the lawmakers pointed out, the new state budget includes an increase in spending of $2.7 billion, including more than $350 million for schools, with urban “Abbott districts” continuing to receive “a windfall of state funding with far less expectation of accountability,” according to the delegation.

Abbott districts – now referred to as SDA districts, named for the New Jersey Schools Development Authority – were established in 1985 following a court ruling that aimed to improve education for students in poorer areas through increased funding.

“Rather than reform the state’s fundamentally broken school funding formula enacted under the Corzine Administration, the situation will only get worse for taxpayers, students, parents, teachers and all education professionals living and working in communities that will see their school funding cut,” Connors, Rumpf and Gove stated.

“At no point did we ever buy into the empty rhetoric that the school funding bill is about fairness. Not unlike past school funding policies, the law signed by the Governor is politically calculated with clear-cut winners and losers. Yes, in Trenton politics are at play even when it concerns how we educate our children.”  —J.K.-H.

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