From left, NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza; Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D, District 32; NJASA Secretary Dr. G. Kennedy Greene; and NJASA Immediate Past President Patrick Fletcher
|Back from left, NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza;
NJASA Gloucester County Executive Committee Representative Dr. James Lavender;
and NJASA President Dr. Scott McCartney
Front from left, NJASA Executive Committee Northern Region Member-at-Large Dr. Deborah Harvest; NJASA Middlesex County Affiliate President Dr. Linda Madison; Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D, District 3; and NJASA Secretary Dr. G. Kennedy Greene
In the Association’s 2017 Outlook for New Jersey Public Education, NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza indicated that an early analysis of the State’s political arena billed the year ahead as a free-for-all wrestling match featuring Governor Christie, the leadership of the Democratic Party, and the candidates seeking to become the next Governor of the State. Governor Christie is pushing his “Fairness Formula” for funding public education while the Democrats have their versions embodied in Assembly and Senate proposals.
The calendar tells us we just entered the third week of January and three separate school funding hearings are scheduled — January 17 — Joint Committee on Public Schools (JCPS); January 18 — Assembly Education Committee and January 27 — Senate Select Committee. There are strong indicators the number of hearings will triple to nine within the very near future.
Speculation by State House insiders suggests that Governor Christie might include school district aid figures in his Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal which reflect his “Fairness Formula.” He is scheduled to deliver his budget message on February 28.
K-12 education accounts for nearly one third of New Jersey’s annual state spending. This combined with the pension deficits; a tenth credit downgrade during the Christie administration; shrinking revenues created by tax cuts agreed upon in the Gas Tax legislation; and the increased cost of goods and services including the rising cost for retiree health benefits; may very well continue flat funding of school district operations.
The Association’s leadership — Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza, Officers Immediate Past President Patrick Fletcher and Secretary Dr. Ken Greene provided testimony before the JCPS and the Assembly Education Committee that continues to advocate for public schools according to the Association’s Vision 2020 plan that supports NJASA members, their communities, and students.
NJASA Executive Director Dr Bozza said, "Funding is a critical issue for New Jersey’s schools and we look forward to a good-faith effort of bipartisan support by our elected officials to work together for the future of New Jersey."
January 17, 2017 Joint Committee on Public Schools (JCPS) Meeting discussed the topic of school funding. http://bit.ly/2jDdVgO
January 18, 2017 Assembly Education Committee received testimony from invited guests regarding the "School Funding Reform Act of 2008," P.L.2007, c.260, and other matters related to education funding in the State. http://bit.ly/2jsyU3V