NEWTON, NJ— After learning about how underfunded Newton and four other neighboring towns in the state are from Stella Dunn, Newton Board of Education President, the town decided to jump on board and help the board of education in any way possible.
The resolution, which will be presented to the president of the Senate, Speaker of the General Assembly, the State Senator and State Assemblypersons from the Legislative District 24, is worded as follows:
The resolution recognizes Newton schools are underfunded, according to the state, by $4.69 million. Newton joins the ranks of 238 school districts in New Jersey that are underfunded according to the legislation brought about by the court decision requiring equity in school funding.
The resolution also lays out the case that the state continues to disregard the formula for funding schools, established in 2008 by underfunding districts like Newton while others get more than their fair share, as established in the law.
The taxpayers of Newton pay $3.81 million more than their local fair share in this year alone according to the resolution. And “funding of the Newton Public Schools remains under adequate by an estimated $488,010, therefore impinging upon the right of students in the Newton Public Schools to the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools as per New Jersey Constitution.”
The resolution continues to call on the state legislature to fully fund the SFRA. The Newton Board of Education sent “nearly 200 taxpayer letters to State legislators in support of school funding fairness.” They have discussed the topic at their meetings and published information on their website and on social media.
The Newton Schools Superintendent Dr. Kennedy Greene has testified at several hearings in Trenton and around the state on the topic, in an effort to raise awareness among the elected officials.
If the SFRA cannot be fully funded the resolution passed by the town council asks that the money “that sufficient additional monies be allocated to Underadequacy Aid to close the adequacy gap.”
The Newton Town Council passed the resolution at the meeting on Monday night.