New Jersey's 24th Legislative District

Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho, Space & Wirths Blast Murphy’s Signing of School Funding Bill That Slashes Local School Aid

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District 24 Schools Will Lose $40 Million Annually When Fully Implemented

Senator Steven Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (all R-24) released the following statement on the July 24, 2018 signing of S-2/A-2, legislation that will cut State school aid to Sussex and Warren County schools by more than $2 million next year, a reduction that will increase to $40 million annually when the new school aid formula is fully phased in.

Sen. Steven Oroho & Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths comment on the signing of S-2/A-2, legislation that will cut State school aid to Sussex and Warren County schools by more than $40 million annually when the new formula is fully phased in. (Flickr)

Oroho served last year on the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, which identified a number of key school funding reforms that were not included in the Democrats’ current legislation, S-2/A-2.

“Our students, teachers, and taxpayers should not have to pay the price for the failure of Governor Murphy and Democrats to fairly fix the school funding formula,” Oroho said. “Their refusal to enact fiscally-responsible, bipartisan solutions is a shame. While I appreciate that it is incumbent upon school boards to properly manage their budgets in line with current enrollment realities, the fact of the matter is the crux of the school funding formula is still inherently unfair. And no matter how you run numbers under a flawed formula, you still get flawed numbers.”

The $40 million reduction in State school aid to District 24 represents the full annual recurring loss to local school districts when the Trenton Democrats’ new funding formula is fully implemented in seven years.

“Property taxpayers in Sussex and Warren County cannot afford to shoulder this burden, nor should they have to,” Space said. “There is nothing ‘strong or fair’ about this legislation. It is a politically-motivated attempt to move resources from one town to another, without doing anything to fix the fatal flaws in the school funding formula. Families throughout New Jersey deserve meaningful change that will make their lives better.”

“This legislation completely ignores the needs of rural communities, and prioritizes areas for purely political gain. That is unconscionable. Any change to our school funding formula must treat all students equally. No child is any more or less deserving of a great education,” Wirths said. “I am deeply disappointed Governor Murphy and the Democrats chose to punish our communities in the 24th District. This is not a justifiable or fair way to create policy or govern a state as diverse as New Jersey.”

“What I find particularly galling is the continued use of the Geographic Cost Adjustment instituted under former Governor Corzine which wrongfully insinuates that it costs less to educate a child in more rural areas of New Jersey so we get less state aid,” Oroho continued. “I worked with the Christie Administration to fight the Trenton Democrats and we were successful in softening the impact somewhat, but not fully eliminating this discriminatory provision now is a disgrace.”

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