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Parents Let Lawmakers Know They’re Unhappy with School Funding

As they sat and listened to legislators and education officials debate state aid for New Jersey’s schools, parents made their presence felt

Parents made their presence felt at a hearing of the Assembly budget committee in Trenton yesterday where the contentious issue of school funding was up for discussion.

The parents were mostly from school districts that believe they are being shortchanged by the state’s school funding formula, which allows dozens of districts to get more state aid than they should and hundreds to get less.

“Is the department’s position that the status quo and the effect the status quo is having on the people in this room is acceptable?” Assemblyman John Burzichelli asked the Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington.

“The department’s position is that we are making difficult decisions with limited dollars and trying to do the best we can to spread that across,” Harrington replied.

The problematic school funding formula was passed in 2008 but it has never been fully funded. In his budget address this year, Gov. Chris Christie challenged the Legislature to create a new formula.

“…the remarkable turnout of families, parents here today sends a very clear message that this is not some small group of people. This is something that has spread throughout New Jersey and people have a real concern and I think their voices have a chance to be heard,” Assemblyman Lou Greenwald said after yesterday’s hearing.

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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