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NJ Democratic Leaders Sweeney and Prieto Offer Competing School Funding Plans

Friday, January 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Share | 01/13/17

Though New Jersey governor Chris Christie focused his attention and the legislature’s on mitigating the state’s opiate crisis during his state of the state address this week, school funding could be the next major legislative battle as Christie works to secure his legacy during his last year in office. After Christie’s address, Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney said the governor’s school funding plan—which would equalize school funding statewide, presenting a windfall for some districts and ruin for others—will likely make its reappearance during Christie’s budget address next month.

After Christie’s address, Sweeney said “We don’t have to have one more hearing. All we need to do is pass one bill, and end the games that are being played.” Prieto, whose home district encompasses Jersey City, opposes Sweeney’s plan. Jersey City and other districts in Hudson County would stand to lose under Sweeney’s plan to phase out state adjustment aid and funding caps for districts with significant enrollment changes over five years.

“There is no mystery to the fact that we need to study school funding fairness without predetermining the outcome or getting political,” Prieto said in return. “We’re ready to hear from education experts, taxpayers and parents from throughout the state about what’s best for children and what can bring property tax relief.

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