UNDERSCORES CONTINUING NEEDS OF DISADVANTAGED AND MINORITY STUDENTS
An allied group of public education stakeholders has filed an amicus brief asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to reject the Governor’s proposal to severely restrict the funding needed to address the educational disadvantages caused by poverty in the State’s urban school districts. The brief, filed by NJ NAACP, Paterson NAACP, Paterson Education Fund, New Jersey Community Development Corp., NJ ACLU, Newark Teachers Union and NJ Black Issues Convention, opposes the State’s motion to freeze school aid in FY2007, and to bar districts from seeking Abbott supplemental funding. Supplemental funding supports full-day kindergarten, limitations on class size, early reading and math literacy, social and health services, school security, secondary school reforms, and other programs and services found by the New Jersey Supreme Court to be integral to a constitutionally adequate education.
The amicus brief asserts that continued implementation of the Abbott remedies is essential to ensuring that a “thorough and efficient” education is provided to disadvantaged school children. The brief stresses that:
- Implementation of the Abbott remedies has markedly improved academic performance at preschool and elementary school levels, proving that when the State invests in Abbott reforms, Abbott school children are able to succeed.
- Continued enforcement of the Abbott remedies is essential because the State has recently initiated implementation of middle and high school reforms and districts will be unable to move forward with these reforms without additional supplemental funding.
- Freezing supplemental funding will impede the ability of Abbott districts to implement the remedies demanded under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), while maintaining current Abbott programs and services.
- Abbott school districts educate the State’s poorest children and are disproportionately comprised of minority students. The Governor’s proposal to freeze supplemental funding will disproportionately harm minority students.
The Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) filed a separate amicus brief asking the Court to reject the Governor’s proposal in order to safeguard the gains made by Abbott school children in preschool and elementary grades.
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications