Lonegan Solves N.J.’s Educational IllsApril 30, 2009
Special Ed Advocates Dis the E.C.S.May 4, 2009
The Education Law Center, primary advocates for the Abbott districts, has issued a press release describing the reasons why the Supreme Court should maintain the Abbott remedies established over 20 years ago and why the State’s new funding formula (S.F.R.A.) is unconstitutional.
Mr. [David] Sciarra noted that at-risk children living outside the Abbott districts have been shortchanged in school funding because the Legislature stopped funding the prior formula in 2002. But he let the Justices know that the Legislature is now preparing to abandon the new SFRA formula by depriving those children in 2009-10 of over $300 million in long-overdue funds promised in the formula
In other words, says Sciarra, not only is the S.F.R.A. unconstitutional, but the State is also failing to fully fund it.
What’s up with that anyway? Does the D.O.E. have a death wish? Were they sitting around in a room and playing, “what’s the most extravagant way that we can undermine ourselves,” and the winning entry was not funding the very legislation that they are currently arguing is fair and well-implemented?
Advanced Math in Freehold Regional:
Now that this district has elected a new cadre of board members who ran on an anti-James Wasser slate (the superintendent who got a bonus for claiming doctoral status from a diploma mill), everyone is trying to figure out how much power they have. The Asbury Park Press tries to explain:
This means that as few as four members can form a majority. Or, depending on who’s voting, it could take seven members to reach a majority. This system was created by a 1998 court order that ruled the one vote-one member system unconstitutional. The court ordered votes to be weighted by the populations of the eight municipalities the district serves. For approximately every 15,600 citizens, a municipality receives one vote.
The Asbury Park Press also reports that Corzine is projecting that revenues for the next year will be $1.5 billion to $2 billion lower than previously expected and that “spending cuts in most departments” is likely.
School districts already got stiffed on their April—June state aid payment. (Not to worry: the D.O.E. assured everyone that they could simply defer payments for pension plans til 2012 with a teensy bit of interest: 8.2%. Is the State now in the business of loan-sharking?) Should we worry about losing another payment?