Tell Legislators to Reject Governor’s School Budget.

Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed budget for 2006-07 will cause deep cuts in the state’s public schools, particularly in high poverty, high minority urban schools. The budget also threatens to derail the educational progress made over the last several years in New Jersey’s urban districts through the landmark Abbott v. Burke reforms.

The Governor is proposing “flat” funding all school districts, or no increase in state aid over last year’s budget. The special needs or “Abbott” districts will have no alternative but to make substantial cuts and staff layoffs just to cover rising salary, energy and other fixed costs. For other districts, the Governor’s budget will cause similar cuts or another hike in property taxes, or some combination of both. Suburban, rural and other districts are facing their fifth year of almost no state aid increase.

The Governor’s proposal for flat funding is contrary to the Abbott Supreme Court rulings. Acting Commissioner Lucille Davy also announced that the Corzine administration will restart the Abbott litigation by asking for the Court’s approval to impose the budget cuts. ELC, which represents urban school children in the Abbott case, will vigorously oppose any such request.

The Governor’s proposed budget now goes to the Legislature, which can reject it and add in needed school aid.

Advocates and those concerned about our children and their future need to tell legislators where we stand. Let them know we want a budget that makes sure our children get the education they deserve and need. Let them know we need school aid added into the budget.

Also let the Governor know we’re tired of court battles and needless litigation. Let him know we want his administration to work with the Abbott districts to come up with “student friendly” budgets.

With your help, we can maintain high quality public education, continue progress in our urban schools, and hold down high local property taxes.

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240