9th District Legislators Want State’s School Funding Formula Reformed

Nov 07, 2018

Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th Legislative District have responded to members of the State Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, which held a roundtable last month, with a call to reform the funding procedure for schools. “If the Workgroup is truly interested in providing achievable tax relief to residents in our area, the answer is staring them right in the face: reform New Jersey’s rigged school funding formula,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“By design, the state school funding formula treats suburban and rural school districts disparately, compared to the politically-favored urban ‘special needs’ districts, which receive a windfall of state aid,” they added. “Fairness for non-urban school districts does not factor into the calculation.”

The delegation said their constituents consistently subsidize students in other school districts, “while their own school district is underfunded and increasingly reliant on local property taxes.”

“School districts working to provide the best education for our children are pitted against discontented taxpayers trying to keep their head above water financially, creating hostile environments in our communities that benefit no one.”

As Connors, Rumpf and Gove also pointed out, many schools in their legislative district that saw their state funding cut this year were also hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, and are still working to rebuild their tax base. —J.K.-H.

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