TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget for shortchanging schools despite increasing spending by $4.5 billion this year and funding six new pet projects to the cost of more than $95 million.
“The governor’s budget funds more free college and preschool when our kids aren’t even back in the classroom and schools are still being shortchanged to the tune of $700 million. His budget address completely ignored the impact that Covid has had on students and teachers in this state. It’s like he is not living in reality,” said Dunn (R-Morris). “Before we start funding new programs, we should fully fund our schools and devise a statewide reopening plan so that every child has access to the high-quality education they deserve. By kicking the school funding formula can down the road, he is only hurting the ones that he claims his budget will help: students.”
The governor’s proposed budget includes $50 million for a new college program that would pay for the first two years at four-year public universities and $50 million for expanded preschool. If the planned cuts to school districts advance, schools will still be underfunded by $700 million. That number climbs to $1.5 billion if the cuts to so-called overfunded districts are taken off the table.