Turner Measure To Provide School Construction Funds Now Law

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner welcomed news today that Governor Jon S. Corzine signed bill her S-1457, which provides $3.9 billion in funds for school construction projects across the State.

“We need to keep moving forward in revitalizing the aging school infrastructure in many of our urban centers,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “No child should have to go to school in a building that is crumbling or is overcrowded to a point that it threatens their health and safety and distracts them from learning. We will use these funds efficiently and effectively to build schools that will make kids excited about going to school.”

Under the measure, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) is authorized to borrow up to an additional $3.9 billion under the terms of the “Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act.” The funds will be used by the Schools Development Authority (SDA) to finance the construction of schools across the State.

Senator Turner added, “We are not writing the SDA a blank check this time around. The Legislature will remain engaged and vigilant as these schools are built . We cannot afford to squander another opportunity to provide our kids with the schools they deserve.”

“These funds will meet a critical need for countless New Jersey students who are forced to learn in ancient and often crumbling school buildings,” explained Senator Turner. “It’s our duty to make sure that not a single penny is wasted as we strive to provide a safe and modern educational environment for all students.”

Senator Turner noted that the SDA announced 53 school construction projects Tuesday in the former Abbott districts. The list includes three new schools in Trenton that will receive more than $246 million.

“The mismanagement of the $8.6 billion originally allocated to school construction led to these three schools being put on hold. We are now coming through on the commitment we made to Trenton residents years ago to provide schools that will prepare Trenton students to thrive in the 21st century economy,” Senator Turner said.

Accord to the SDA financing plan, the three news schools that will be built in Trenton include Trenton Central High School, the Roebling School and a new Early Childhood Center.

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