School funding in budget isn’t enough, says Dunn

School funding in budget isn’t enough, says Dunn

Aura Dunn

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn doesn’t want Gov. Phil Murphy to get away with underfunding schools and possibly putting federal funding in jeopardy. She says Murphy should fully fund schools, his constitutional duty, immediately.

“We have a teacher shortage, skyrocketing bus contracts, and student mental health problems and learning loss to deal with,” explained Dunn (R-Morris). “Spending has increased and will increase by more than it would take to fully fund schools.”

Under Murphy’s proposed budget, spending would increase by $14.2 billion since he took office, and by $2.5 billion from enacted FY22 budget. Schools are currently underfunded by as much as $1.5 billion.

The federal Department of Education also sent a letter to the Murphy administration in the fall that said $2.5 billion would be at stake if over $170 million wasn’t returned to school districts that face cuts.

“As a parent, I don’t understand why his constitutional duty isn’t a priority,” said Dunn. “When are we going to make children’s well-being a priority?”

Studies have shown students who spent all or most of their time attending classes online lost comprehension, focus and engagement, according to experts. Others found stress, anxiety and depression increased as well and affected learning.