School Funding A Concern At Budget Hearing
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. March 5, 2013
Funding for schools came in for some criticism at a public hearing on New Jersey’s proposed state budget.
Governor Christie’s budget plan boosts education aid to a record of nearly $9 billion.
Susan Cauldwell is a member of Save Our Schools, a volunteer organization of public school supporters. She’s urging the legislature to allocate school aid based on the state’s school funding formula.
“The proposed budget would underfund nearly 95 percent of all school districts despite the fact that this formula is the law in the state.”
Republican Senator Jen Beck says fully funding the formula isn’t going to happen.
“We passed it in 2008 and then the following the year it wasn’t funded because nobody could afford the formula. It’ll never be funded.”
Monroe Township resident Jill DeMaio says the state is not giving schools the money they need.
“Without proper funding our children’s education is going to decline. We’ve already seen programs cut, staff reductions, and increased class sizes.”
DeMaio says senior citizens are burdened by property taxes that provide much of the school funding.
“They’re desperate. They really are. I mean they pull out line items from the budget of 15 thousand, 30 thousand, and that won’t give them any type of relief. Some of them have had to sell their homes and move back in with their families.”