Change Needed

Mar 15, 2017

To the Editor:

Mark Twain is famous for having said, among other things, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The same could be said about New Jersey’s school funding formula, and this year, as in the past decade, our elected officials are singing the same song.

They formed a committee to study the issue that more than likely will produce the same results: nothing.

The inherent disparity of aid provided under the state’s school aid formula is perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors in high property taxes. Entrenched special interest in Trenton deliberately calibrated the formula to ensure the lion’s share of aid goes to only 31 Abbott school districts, mostly located in urban areas.

In Little Egg Harbor, as in most of southern New Jersey, taxes are high because of this method of funding aid. The school funding formula can only be changed by the governor and a majority of the 40 state senators and 80 Assembly members.

Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th District have voted against the measure that protects the state school aid formula and vented their frustration with the following reply to my inquiries:

“While we understand your attempt to emphasize the needs of Little Egg, that doesn't change the standing reality that State school funding formula needs to be reformed. Little Egg and other similarly situated municipalities will continue to be under funded until the Majority Party Leadership in the State Legislature acts. You can continue to contact us on this issue. But as we have explained in several previous responses, there is presently no motivation for the Leadership to reform the formula as their municipalities benefit from the status quo.”

Let your voice be heard. Write or call your representatives and let them know that you are not satisfied with the status quo that deprives you of equal justice under the law.

Art Mooney

Little Egg Harbor

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