Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (all R-24) voted against legislation advanced by Trenton Democrats today to cut State school aid to the 24th Legislative District by $1.5 million next year, a reduction that would increase to $40 million loss annually when the new school aid formula is fully phased in.
“New Jersey’s school funding formula is broken, but this effort by Trenton Democrats to reduce our local school aid hardly qualifies as a fix,” said Oroho. “We offered a detailed school funding reform proposal that would have provided property tax relief statewide, but Democrats chose to ignore our solutions. Their proposal will increase the burden on struggling property taxpayers in Sussex and Warren counties by another $40 million.”
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 Democrats’ current legislation, 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 was a politically motivated attack on rural areas that for our taxpayers, students, and schools reshuffles the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.”
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.”
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