Senator Michael Doherty, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Borough of Oceanport’s support of his Fair School Funding Solution:
“The Borough of Oceanport’s officials elected by the taxpayers to represent their interests have passed a resolution supporting a fair school funding formula that treats all children across the state equally. Those duly elected officials of the Borough of Oceanport in Monmouth County have acknowledged the language in the state constitution is clear: state aid must be distributed equally on a per student basis.
“I have introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that will forever remove the State Supreme Court from decisions on how we fund our schools. The proposed constitutional amendment will provide equal school aid for each student, regardless of where the student resides. New Jersey needs to establish a fair, simple, transparent, and straightforward educational funding formula that takes the income tax fund and distributes the fund equally to each student.
“I look forward to more support from those who care about New Jersey and the education that our children are receiving.”
The text of the resolution approved by the Borough of Oceanport follows:
WHEREAS, the Borough of Oceanport believes that every child should have equal resources of state aid distributed by the legislature for an education in the State of New Jersey by utilizing a fair school funding mechanism; and
WHEREAS, the current distribution of state aid for education to the schools has not been distributed in a fair and equitable manner to provide property tax relief to all citizens of the State of New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, Article III., Paragraph 1, of the New Jersey State Constitution states, “The powers of government shall be divided among three distinct branches, the legislative, executive, and judicial. No person or persons belonging to or constituting one branch shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as expressly provided in this Constitution;” and
WHEREAS, Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1, of the New Jersey State Constitution states, “the Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years;” and
WHEREAS, Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 2, of the New Jersey State Constitution states, “the fund for the support of free public schools…shall be annually appropriated to the support of free public schools, and for the equal benefit of all the people of this State;” and
WHEREAS, Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 7.a of the New Jersey State Constitution states, “the income tax is to be “annually appropriated…exclusively for the purpose of reducing or offsetting property taxes;” and
WHEREAS, this body can no longer bear the burden of the continued diversion of its fair share of state school aid for the students between the ages of five and eighteen years of age who reside within this jurisdiction.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Oceanport do hereby call upon the Legislature of the State of New Jersey to fulfill its constitutionally assigned duty to distribute the state aid for education to the school districts in this state in a fair manner that is for the equal benefit of all people of the state and not by means that are prejudiced by the actions of special interests that may have been presented before the Court or other venue.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Clerk of this entity is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr., Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce.