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Buono: ‘Court Ruling Validates New School Funding Formula’

EDISON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, the Chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and author of the legislation establishing a new school funding formula, issued the following statement today regarding Bergen County Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne’s finding that the new funding formula provides for the “thorough and efficient” education to which every child in New Jersey has a right:

“Today’s ruling regarding the new school funding formula is welcome news for New Jersey families. Judge Doyne’s recommendations validate the year-old formula and represent a significant step toward more equitably funding school districts throughout the State.

“As New Jersey copes with the effects of the national recession, the new funding formula will ensure a more sustainable way of meeting our State’s educational needs, while providing help for struggling school districts across the State that have been flat-funded for years.

“This funding model recognizes that not every special needs student lives in an Abbott-designated district, with 49% of low-income special needs children living outside of the 31 Abbotts. It ensures that funding follows the child, and isn’t left behind at the municipal border, to specifically help districts trying to cope with the sometimes massive growth in their student body populations. And it increases both the support and predictability for special education, which is can be a major cost driver in local school budgets.

“New Jersey has a constitutional and moral mandate to provide for the excellent education of our children. Judge Doyne’s decision today supports the steps we’ve taken to fulfill that mandate. I look forward to quick and decisive action by the Supreme Court to adopt Judge Doyne’s recommendations, and put to rest once and for all any questions regarding the constitutionality of giving all our children the resources they need to succeed.”

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