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Trenton Lawmakers Back Bills to Boost Apprenticeships

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  A wide-ranging plan to make apprenticeships more accessible for New Jersey residents particularly in high growth industries was introduced in the Senate. The 10 bills sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chair M. Teresa Ruiz are in collaboration with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and are based on its report released September 6, 2018 entitled “Becoming the United States of Opportunity: the Economic Equity and Growth Case for Apprenticeships.” This report highlighted how apprenticeship programs can strengthen our economy and advance economic opportunity by connecting residents—particularly women and people of color—to living wage careers.

Continue reading Trenton Lawmakers Back Bills to Boost Apprenticeships

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Governor Christie The Fairness Formula will Lower Property Taxes and Force Education Reform

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

August 25,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Earlier this summer, Governor Christie proposed a solution to New Jersey’s two most pressing issues; the failure of urban education and high property taxes.

In 1985 Abbott Districts were created as a result of the first ruling of Abbott v. Burke, a case filed by the Education Law Center. The ruling asserted that public primary and secondary education in poor communities throughout the state was unconstitutionally substandard.

The Abbott II ruling in 1990 had the most far-reaching effects, ordering the state to fund the (then) 28 Abbott districts at the average level of the state’s wealthiest districts.

The low-income districts began to receive the extra aid .The Abbott ruling led to the current school funding formula crisis allowing failing school districts to spend as much as $33,699 per pupil in tax dollars, while high‐performing school districts spend less than half of that per student.

In what could be one of the largest failures in social engineering ,leading to excessive spending by a select few and chronically failing school districts,who have received billions more in state taxpayer dollars over the past three decades than hundreds of successful school districts.

According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,”While it is difficult to compare academic achievement across time periods, evidence indicates that Abbott money has had little effect on improving student performance. ”

Mercatus Center went on , “The lackluster performance of these schools is also related to the fractured relationship between beneficiaries and providers. Abbott districts receive the majority of their funding from state aid rather than local tax revenues. The incentive to make optimal use of this funding and to monitor school performance is minimal. In addition, taxpayers in districts receiving state aid may not be benefiting from lower property taxes, because officials in local government prefer to work the increased revenue into their budgets, rather than returning it to taxpayers via a municipal tax cut.”

That’s where Governor Christie steps in with his Fairness Formula. The Fairness Formula will provide equal education funding for every pupil throughout the state, valuing every child equally. Under the Fairness Formula, all public school districts would receive $6,599 for every enrolled student, plus continued funding for special education. This will give every child an equal chance at success.

With this new formula, 75% of all New Jersey districts would get more state aid than they do today. The biggest driver of New Jersey’s nation‐high property taxes is the ineffective and unfair state school funding formula. The Fairness Formula will not only be equal for students it may also provide hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual property tax savings for New Jerseyans in most communities.   The potential property tax savings that would be realized under the Fairness Formula is a strong benefit to New Jersey’s economy as a whole. Business owners are burdened by New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes and chased to more affordable states due to New Jersey’s many other non‐competitive taxes that have been enacted by Democrats.

A byproduct of the Fairness Formula is a renewed interest in alternative options for educational choice.

Recently Atlantic City passed a resolution unanimously by the Democrat-dominated body for a non-binding referendum in time for the November ballot : REGARDING SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND TAX CREDITS.

WHEREAS, The City Council of Atlantic City is empowered with the authority to submit nonbinding referendum questions to the public in order to ascertain the sentiment of legal voters; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Atlantic City hereby submits the following questions to be printed upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing General Election as follows: “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City to begin offering vouchers to families with children ages 6-16 so they can select the school they want their children to attend?” “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City of Atlantic City to begin offering property tax credits to families with children ages 6-16 who choose to homeschool?

The revolutionary resolution was created by freshman GOP Councilman Jesse Kurtz, who is himself an NJEA member, New Jersey’s largest teachers union.

According to Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute ,”School choice policies aim to break the link between where children live and where they go to school. They seek to interrupt the cycle of poverty by providing low-income children with access to high-quality educational options that will boost their chances of long-term success. Choice programs come in several flavors, including charter schools, which are publicly funded but independently operated; private school vouchers, which cover all or part of private school tuition; and open enrollment plans (sometimes called public school vouchers) that allow parents to send their child to any public school in the district. When done right, school choice programs can be powerful tools in the fight against poverty.”

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Even Tax Credits Can not Keep Businesses in Anti Business New Jersey

New Jersey Democrats Move to Raise Taxes


OCTOBER 26, 2015

Companies and critics explore the pros and cons — and costs — of incentives used to convince corporations not to move out of state

When Panasonic was seeking a new location for its corporate headquarters after four decades in Secaucus, moving to downtown Newark was not the original plan, according to chief executive officer Joe Taylor.

Offices in San Diego, Chicago, and Atlanta were all under consideration, but after intense lobbying from politicians here — and the enticement of an $80 million state economic-development tax incentive — Taylor decided to keep the company and its 1,000 employees in New Jersey, choosing to relocate in downtown Newark.

Now, Taylor said 60 percent of the company’s employees are taking the train to work, meaning their cars are off New Jersey’s already choked and potholed highways. Panasonic also has an agreement with city government to give local residents a first crack at job openings.

“I’m a huge proponent of economic development,” Taylor said while participating in a panel discussion during NJ Spotlight on Cities, a daylong conference held earlier this month at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark that focused on the state of New Jersey’s cities.

“I think tax credits are critically important,” he said. “I think other kinds of credits are critically important.”

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State approves tax credits to keep companies in N.J.


APRIL 15, 2015    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015, 1:21 AM

* State authority approves sizable grants

New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority on Tuesday approved more than $130 million in tax credits aimed at convincing several companies to expand in New Jersey, rather than in nearby states. The action included two sizable grants in Jersey City.

“The assistance approved at today’s meeting illustrates the breadth of programs EDA offers to support the revitalization of our cities,” the authority’s chief executive officer, Melissa Orsen, said in a statement.

The EDA voted Tuesday to offer Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., a private bank, $19.4 million of tax credits over seven years to keep 435 jobs in Jersey City. The New York-based company also said it hopes to add 110 jobs, some through growth and some through relocations from New York City. The project would bring the state a net benefit of $193 million over 20 years, according to the authority.

The authority also approved a $33.9 million worth of tax credits over 10 years to New York Life Insurance Co. to move 325 jobs from Parsippany to 30 Hudson St. in Jersey City, where it would hire 300 more workers. Without the grant, New York Life would consider moving the Parsippany workers to Manhattan or Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. The New York Life project would bring the state a net benefit of $430.4 million over 20 years, the authority said.