file photo by Boyd Loving
JOHN MOONEY | JANUARY 17, 2017
Democrats Sweeney and Prieto will pursue individual approaches to funding reform
Get ready to hear a lot more about school funding in New Jersey.
This week will start what could amount to nine separate public hearings in the next month about the state of school funding for New Jersey’s public schools, all driven by the somewhat fractured Democratic leadership of the Legislature.
The first is scheduled for today before the Joint Committee for the Public Schools, a hearing that has long been on the docket.
The next day will be the initial hearing before the Assembly’s education committee at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in the State House. Another is planned before a new Senate select committee next week, on January 27, at Kingsway Regional High School in Woolwich at 11 a.m. The next three have yet to be scheduled.
And this is all before Gov. Chris Christie unveils his state budget for fiscal 2017, in which a third of state spending will be aid to schools. It’s anyone’s guess as to what he will put forward.
Christie has been pushing to scuttle the state’s current formula-driven funding plan, instead providing the same amount of state aid per pupil for every district, no matter the need.