TRENTON, N.J. – Sen. Samuel Thompson and Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton slammed Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration for, once again, proposing funding cuts to schools across the state, including those represented by the lawmakers in Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
The lawmakers received an email from the Department of Education outlining Murphy’s proposed state aid cuts to nine of the 17 schools they represent. The schools are among the 182 districts statewide that would receive less aid under Murphy’s budget proposal.
“In a budget plan filled with historically high spending levels and a huge surplus, the governor persists with his attacks on suburban and rural school districts,” said Thompson (R-Middlesex), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“The Murphy administration talks about investing in education like never before, but one-third of all the schools in the state, including more than half the schools we represent, are facing losses totaling millions of dollars,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Governor Murphy is creating winners and losers. The success of a school district should not be at the expense of another school district.”
“Our school districts cannot afford to lose this amount of funding”, said Clifton (R-Monmouth), a former member of the Assembly Budget Committee, adding, “We clearly have the means, with more than $4 billion in surplus, to avoid deep cuts in school funding. Unfortunately, this governor’s priorities seem to be elsewhere.”
The governor’s proposed budget includes $20 million to help school districts adjust to cuts under the school aid formula he is underfunding by $500 million. Sen. Thompson and Assemblymen Dancer and Clifton are committed to aggressively advocating to increase the $20 million allocated for stabilization aid to $100 million.
In addition, the lawmakers are pushing other legislation to eliminate area schools from Gov. Murphy’s targeted and unconscionable state aid cuts, or reduce the impact. Those measures include the following: allowing the transfer of school district capital reserves to offset reduced aid, increasing state extraordinary aid for special education to 100% over three years, and a stakeholder commission to start the process of creating a new state funding formula.