NJ Lamwakers Expect To Make Changes In Murphy's School Aid Plan

Apr 4, 2018

Senate Budget Committee holds hearing on budget plan at Rowan University.

As New Jersey lawmakers hold hearings on Governor Murphy’s state budget plan, there are indications they’ll be making some changes in his proposed school funding.

Amy Jablonski is a school board member in Chesterfield. She says the state aid Murphy’s budget provides for that Burlington County school district is a punch to the gut.

“An increase of $41,000 for Chesterfield while districts that have already been superfunded for a decade got increases is not what ensures that New Jersey is fairer or stronger. I voted for him and he let me down. And most importantly he let my kids down.”

Kingsway school district superintendent James Lavendar says it’s troubling that the underfunded district in Gloucester County would get only a small increase in state aid while districts with declining student enrollment also get increases.

“This is no stronger and fairer New Jersey.  I’ll tell you that right now. And I’m more disappointed in this governor who I voted for and I supported, I’m more disappointed in him in his first state budget address than I am in the eight years of Chris Christie and his draconian school policy because that’s what I expected from that administration.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney says lawmakers will correct whatever they think is wrong in the budget plan.

Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo expects there will be changes to fix inequities in school funding before the budget is enacted.

“I think the governor has recognized that the governor has recognized in conversations with us that we need to fix this over the next couple of weeks. And I’m confident that the governor will work with us and the legislature to get this done right.”

Republican Senator Sam Thompson also anticipates some revisions in school aid distribution.

“This is totally unaccepted that districts so underfunded would be getting such a tiny little bit while districts that are receiving 200 percent of what they’re entitled to are also getting increases. That just will not fly. I think we’re going to work to get that remedied before this budget gets passed.”