November 30, 2009
League Task Force Opens Dialogue on School Funding Reform
The New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Mayors Task Force for School Funding Reform, under authorization from the League’s Executive Board, is developing a proposal that would require the State to fund per pupil education costs from a source other than the local property tax.
Earlier this month, at our Annual Business Meeting, our membership approved a Resolution supporting the work of the Mayors Task Force. A part of that Resolution asks New Jersey Mayors to demonstrate their individual support for this effort by signing a Statement of Support. In fact, many Mayors have already signed individual Statements of Support, which were available in the Mayors Information Center at our Annual Conference.
We are also making the Statement of Support available online, and we have invited Mayors to download, complete, and send a copy to the League for our files.
Our State’s Constitution calls for the State to ensure a ‘thorough and efficient’ system of public education for children between the ages of 5 and 18. Such a system can be achieved without further burdening our beleaguered property tax payers if the State assumes a more equitable share of the per pupil costs methodology proposed by the Joint Legislative Committee on School Funding. That methodology takes into account such factors as grade level, geographic location, special educational needs, socio-economic status, and other criteria to determine the cost of educating each child.
The Task Force will recommend reforms that ensure all school districts will be provided with the resources needed to educate their students, and, those reforms will significantly ease the burden of regressive property taxes that continue to plague our State’s citizens, businesses, and hopes for economic recovery. Further, the reforms will be revenue neutral and they will respect the needs of our poorer school districts.
We have invited all interested Mayors to endorse this effort, as the Mayors Task Force begins to reach out to other interested parties for broad-based support of this concept.
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For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.