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Poll: Is There a Good Way to Fix School Funding in New Jersey?

Two school funding plans have been proposed and another is in the works, but will any of them actually get the job done?

Gov. Chris Christie has been pushing his "Fairness Formula" — which would level school funding across the state — both in the courts and by taking it directly to the public. Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plan calls for a special committee to find a solution, and by including only legislators, it bypasses the governor entirely. Assembly Speaker Prieto is said to have his own strategy on the way.

In the waning days of the Christie administration, what’s the best way to address what everyone agrees is an unbalanced school funding formula?

  • The state Supreme Court should give serious consideration to Christie's proposal. The Abbott rulings have not lived up to their promise. It’s time to step back and provide every district with the same per capita funding — and get some significant tax relief.

  • Christie's plan would decimate the budgets of urban school districts and put an end to all but their most basic programs — while boosting the budgets of some other districts. Sweeney's idea of working within the existing formula but making some tough — and fast — choices under the guidance of an appointed commission is more equitable.

  • The Legislature’s job is to make difficult decisions. Prieto’s expected plan to take a more deliberative approach is the way to go, even if it takes longer.

  • It doesn’t matter which plan gets put in place. New Jersey isn’t much of a stickler for statutes, and typically does what’s politically expedient. Don’t expect much to actually change.

  • Let's forget about getting anything done until we have a new governor. It will just be a waste of time.

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