STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP - Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove lambasted the signing of S-2/A-2, a school funding bill that will mandate funding cuts for 14 school districts in the 9th Legislative District.
Governor Murphy’s misdirected decision to sign this bill means funding cuts for more than half of the school districts in our legislative district.
“For very compelling reasons, we voted against the school funding bill that should not have passed the Legislature and wrote the Governor directly calling on him to veto it. In our letter to the Governor, we cited the fact that a number of our constituent school districts that will lose funding were still recovering from the catastrophic damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
“Spending increases under the new state budget by $2.7 billion, including more than $350 million school funding. And yet local schools are having their funding cut while Trenton managed to find $2.1 million in the budget to pay the legal costs of illegal aliens facing deportation. This is completely outrageous and indefensible.
“Rather than reform the state’s fundamentally broken school funding formula enacted under the Corzine Administration, the situation will only get worse for taxpayers, students, parents, teachers, and all education professionals living and working in communities that will see their school funding cut.
“At no point did we ever buy into the empty rhetoric that the school funding bill is about fairness. Not unlike past school funding policies, the law signed by the Governor is politically calculated with clear-cut winners and losers. Yes, in Trenton politics are at play even when it concerns how we educate our children.
“Reversing this policy will not be easy, given the political dimensions involved. Targeted school districts will be lectured by Trenton to do more with less, while Abbott districts continue to receive a windfall of state funding with far less expectation of accountability. Controlling property taxes will be far more difficult. School boards will have even less resources to work with causing a ripple effect on programs and services as well as collective bargaining negotiations.
“School district officials, educators, parents and taxpayers on the losing side of the school funding cuts should not hesitate to send a clear message to Trenton about the real-life consequences of this harsh policy. Like our constituents we, too, are tired of Trenton’s neglect and indifference shown to our area of the state.”
School districts in the 9th Legislative District which will see state school funding cuts are as follows: Bass River, Beach Haven, Lacey, Lenape Regional, Little Egg Harbor, Ocean (Waretown), Pinelands, Port Republic Stafford, Seaside Park, Tabernacle, Toms River Regional, Tuckerton, and Washington Township.