ELIAS: In Order To Raise the Odds of Student Success, Let’s Work for the Common Good on Common GroundMarch 11, 2022
Winners and Losers As Murphy Administration Announces District State Aid AllocationsMarch 11, 2022
NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, released this statement Tuesday afternoon Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address:
“Gov. Murphy’s first budget of his second term expands the commitment he has made to families for the past five years. His budget shows that he intends to keep his promise to make New Jersey both more affordable and more attractive for the hard-working families who are propelling our economic recovery.
“That commitment begins with his unwavering determination to fully fund our public schools, which remain the best in the nation. By pledging an additional $650 million in aid to local school districts, he has ensured that our students will continue to have access to the resources they need to learn and thrive. We also applaud his commitment to invest an additional $430 million in school construction and renovation to ensure that our students are learning in schools that are safe, healthy and designed for academic success.
“We thank Gov. Murphy’s for his continued dedication to making higher education more affordable, particularly at New Jersey’s many excellent community colleges. By making more families eligible for the Community College Opportunity Grant, Gov. Murphy’s budget continues to create pathways to success for New Jersey residents who have for too long been excluded from higher education. We continue to urge the state to increase direct aid to county colleges as well, to ensure that they can keep tuition low and still build the vibrant educational programs our students need.
“Gov. Murphy’s sustained commitment to meeting the state’s pension obligations, which continues in this budget with a second consecutive full pension payment, is already paying huge dividends to all New Jersey residents. New Jersey’s recent credit upgrade, for the first time in a generation, will lead to lower borrowing costs and more budget resources available for priorities that benefit all of the state’s residents. It also demonstrates to NJEA members that our commitment to our students is matched by the state’s commitment to keep its pension promises.
“Finally, we commend Gov. Murphy’s commitment to affordable housing. Affordable housing is stable housing, and few things are more central to our students’ well-being than a safe home to return to every afternoon. While we are very proud of everything we do inside our school buildings to keep our students safe, healthy and learning, those out-of-school factors play a huge role in their success as well. Affordable housing, access to health care, adequate nutrition and safe communities work together to set the conditions for academic success. This budget demonstrates a commitment to ensuring all of those things for all New Jersey students and families.
“This is a pro-family, pro-student, pro-community budget that will keep our state on the path to a fairer, stronger, more equitable and more prosperous future.”