Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. Testifies for School Repairs
Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. testified with its community and statewide allies at the School Development Authority (SDA) board meeting to call on the SDA to provide full funding for new school construction and much needed safety modifications for all of New Jersey’s schools.
In 2008, the New Jersey State Legislature set aside $3.9 Billion for new schools and renovations. In 2010, a “stop work order” halted construction projects on 52 approved new schools and hundreds of health and safety projects in existing schools. In 2011, the SDA issued a priority repairs requests. Out of the over 700 requests that arrived, only less that 10% were listed for consideration by the SDA.
“For our schools to be successful, educators must have the resources and support they require, including up-to-date teaching materials and well maintained facilities,” said Charles N. Hall, Jr. Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. Chair. “Sadly, this is not the case in all of New Jersey’s schools.”
Tragically, this is symptomatic of a larger issue in school funding within New Jersey. This year’s proposed education budget doesn’t even come close to complying with our state’s legally mandated funding formula. The currently proposed budget will make up for at best a minimal increase for nearly 200 school districts. Camden’s school district lost more than $5 million dollars and Asbury Park absorbed a 4.2% reduction in school aid. Many of these schools will still fall short of returning to funding levels from two years ago under the current proposed budget.
Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc., standing with our progressive community allies are demanding that all schools receive full and needed funding. Under-funded school districts mean staff layoffs, cuts to programs, and lack of required school maintenance like those desperately needed in Trenton.
Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc. is a non-partisan grassroots coalition comprised of labor, religious, community, civil rights, and student, women, and retirees groups to engage New Jersey’s communities in the democratic process. For more information on the coalition or any of its ongoing efforts, contact Community Outreach Coordinator Alex Gomez at (609) 414-6566 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.