OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey were pleased to see that Governor Murphy is supporting their well-publicized plan for stabilization aid to school districts facing a decrease in state funding due to declining enrollment during his annual budget address this Tuesday.
Gopal, Houghtaling, and Downey, who called on the Governor and Legislature to fund additional transitional aid in order to help New Jersey schools adjust to new funding calculations in an Asbury Park Press op-ed earlier this week, said that the Governor’s proposed budget item would go a long way in maintaining the quality of New Jersey’s schools while providing relief to property taxpayers.
“As we work to build a more equitable school funding system, we need to make sure that our student programs aren’t left on the cutting room floor,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). “I’m glad to see long-underfunded districts like Red Bank and Freehold Borough finally start to receive the resources they need to excel, but as we move toward a fairer process, we can’t afford to leave any district behind. As we continue these efforts, we need to fully fund extraordinary special education aid for our schools, bringing long-awaited relief to local property taxpayers and ending the zero-sum race for funding between students with special needs and those without.”
“New Jersey students in underfunded districts badly needed – and deserved – a fix to our previously broken school funding system,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “Now, we need to make sure that the path to a fairer system protects our students and hard-working teachers. We look forward to working with the Governor and our peers in the Legislature to make sure all New Jersey schools have the resources they need to succeed.”
“We are thrilled that Governor Murphy has proposed this much-needed aid,” said Downey (D-Freehold). “We know that the budget a Governor proposes is never exactly the same as the budget that is ultimately signed into law, but we will do all we can to ensure the aid is included in the fiscal year 2021 budget. We vow to work with the Governor and our colleagues in the legislature to get it done because we must continue to provide the high-quality education our students need and deserve.”