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Joe Pennacchio

Posted on: August 14, 2023

Pennacchio Says The Murphy Administration Should Practice What They Preach

Classroom Blackboard

Murphy's Replacement of Equality with Equity Sounds Hypocritical After He Cut Funding for Schools.

Senator Joe Pennacchio said that Governor Murphy should practice what he preaches and focus more on fixing the broken school funding formula than upending school curriculum in response to recent changes made by the State Board of Education to New Jersey's Administrative Code.

"If Governor Murphy wants to talk about inequities in education, he should start by explaining why he cut funding for more than one hundred schools throughout the state this year. We have a broken school funding formula that is based more by zip code than actual educational need and it is hurting students academically. As a result, some schools receive huge funding increases while most districts are left fighting for crumbs," said Pennacchio (R-26). "If the Murphy administration were truly concerned about equity in education, they would have supported Republican efforts to reform the school funding formula to provide full and fair funding for all New Jersey school districts this year. Instead, Governor Murphy decided that the best way to educate students was to cut funding to their schools and teach them that equitable outcomes are more important than equal opportunities."

Senate Republicans have pushed to reform the state's school funding formula to avoid large funding cuts to help states address student needs, such as learning loss. Republicans in the Legislature have also raised concerns about how the current formula considers inflationary pressures and increased benefit costs that support special education programs and the overall cost per pupil throughout the state.

The following chart shows the drastic changes in school aid funding given to school districts since the enactment of S-2 in 2018: FY18 - FY24 School Funding (PDF).

"If equity is Governor Murphy's top priority then he should practice what he preaches and work with Republicans to fix this unfair formula which has decimated more than one hundred schools throughout the state with funding cuts," Pennacchio added. "Parents do not need the government acting as a co-parent in the classroom, they need their school districts to have the resources to educate their children. Now is the time to address the real inequity facing New Jersey schools by reforming the broken school funding formula and stopping our children from being used as pawns to satisfy Governor Murphy's agenda of identity politics. Parents and their children deserve better."

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