Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (all R-24) warned that reductions in State education aid revealed today by the Murphy Administration for the upcoming school year will hurt both students and property taxpayers in Sussex and Warren counties, and said even deeper cuts are assured if a bill on the Governor's desk is signed into law without significant changes.
"We warned that Trenton Democrats were going to redirect our school aid to other parts of the state, and today they took the first step by taking $ 2 million from our children's classrooms," said Oroho. "The cuts will get even worse for Sussex and Warren counties in future years if Governor Murphy signs S-2 into law. I encourage everyone concerned by these cuts to call the Governor's Office and tell him to make changes to S-2 to provide for fair school funding for all schools."
Oroho, Space, and Wirths voted against changes to the school funding formula and a State budget recently advanced by Trenton Democrats that resulted in the cuts announced today. The $2 million of aid reductions to the impacted districts this year will increase to a $40 million loss annually under legislative changes to the school funding formula that are pending approval by Governor Murphy.
Oroho served last year on the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, which identified a number of key school funding reforms that were not included in the legislation advanced by Democrats, S-2/A-2.
“Steve, Hal, and I have always said that any school funding reform effort must treat all school districts fairly and permanently correct the underlying unfairness of the Corzine Democrat school funding law,” Space said. “This is a politically motivated attack on rural areas that for our taxpayers, students, and schools reshuffles the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.”
Should Governor Murphy sign S-2 as is, the $40 million reduction in State school aid represents the full annual recurring loss to local school districts when the Trenton Democrats’ new funding formula is fully enacted in seven years.
“It is outrageous that Trenton Democrats have not put forth a thorough reform of the school funding law that looks at the concerns of each region of the State,” Wirths said. “Trenton Democrats have devalued our land through the Highlands Act and other environmental constraints without proper compensation to our property taxpayers. So with the restraint on economic growth, we are getting a double whammy of limiting our ratable base while slashing our school aid. Every property taxpayer and every parent should be concerned that today's school aid cuts by Governor Murphy are just the start."