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Karcher – School Aid In Budget Not Enough For Suburban Districts

FREEHOLD – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following statement today regarding Governor Corzine’s proposed FY 2008 budget, which she said does not provide enough aid to suburban districts in her legislative district:

“While Governor Corzine’s proposed budget is a good first step in restoring State funding to school districts that have been historically under-funded, it’s a far cry from what we need to adequately educate our students in suburban school districts.

“During my participation in the effort to reform runaway property taxes, it was made clear that middle-income districts are struggling to maintain educational standards while receiving far less aid than many urban and suburban districts. The promise of a new school funding formula which more fairly reflects the needs of all of our students was, sadly, never realized.

“Governor Corzine’s budget makes an effort to help every district until a new formula can be implemented. For the schools of the 12th legislative district, the meager increases in school aid, while welcome, are not enough. Many of the school districts I represent will receive the bare minimum in increased school assistance, and when you consider that these school districts have weathered a drought of aid from Trenton, we need to do more.

“I will continue pushing for a new school funding formula to be introduced before the end of the fiscal year. While Governor Corzine’s stop-gap school aid increase is a start, until we get a fair funding formula in place, we must continue to fight for the needs of middle-income New Jerseyans who are being crushed by soaring education costs in their school districts.”