Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that it would be a mistake to replace New Jersey’s complex and failed school funding formula with another convoluted formula that would be the likely result of a study commission proposed by Senate Democrats.
“New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation because our overly complex school funding formula tries to pick favorites, giving some districts hundreds of millions and others next to nothing,” said Doherty. “You can’t fix that inequity by punting the problem to a commission of bureaucrats who will produce another bad formula. The fair, simple and transparent solution is to treat all kids equally.”
Doherty will introduce Governor Christie’s proposed “Fairness Formula,” which would split the approximately $9 billion of direct school aid in the state budget into equal school aid for each student. Under the “Fairness Formula,” each public school district would receive $6,599 per enrolled student, along with aid for special needs students.
Doherty first introduced his “Fair School Funding” plan, currently S-569, in 2011. Similar in concept to the “Fairness Formula,” that legislation would divide the approximately $14 billion of income tax revenues collected by the state into an equal amount of school aid for each student.
“Even though Senate Democrats are hiding behind a commission to recommend a new school funding proposal, what they have already promised amounts to nearly $2 billion in new spending – and they haven’t said one word about how they’d pay for it,” added Doherty. “In contrast, the Republican plan to enact school funding fairness will cut thousands from the property tax bills of most homeowners in New Jersey, without costing taxpayers more somewhere else.”