Home About GSCS What's New Issues School Funding Coming Up
Quick Links
Meeting Schedule
NJ Legislature
Governor's Office
NJ Department of Education
State Board of Education
GSCS Testimonies
GSCS Data & Charts
Contact Us

Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
             732-618-5755 (cell)

Mailing Address:
Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

Search
Twitter

2-26-14 More news on Governor's Budget Message Proposal
The Record-Public benefits at issue as Governor Christie proposes New Jersey's largest budget ever…Governor Christie on Tuesday unveiled a state spending plan that maintains aid for local schools, towns and property tax relief, and doesn’t raise taxes or cut significantly from any state programs or services.

The Record - Christie budget proposes $5M in grants to spur ways to boost students' learning time

The Record-Public benefits at issue as Governor Christie proposes New Jersey's largest budget ever…Governor Christie on Tuesday unveiled a state spending plan that maintains aid for local schools, towns and property tax relief, and doesn’t raise taxes or cut significantly from any state programs or services.

 

 

The Record - Christie budget proposes $5M in grants to spur ways to boost students' learning time

 

 

The Record-Public benefits at issue as Governor Christie proposes New Jersey's largest budget ever…Governor Christie on Tuesday unveiled a state spending plan that maintains aid for local schools, towns and property tax relief, and doesn’t raise taxes or cut significantly from any state programs or services.

By John Reitmeyer, Michael Linhorst And Michael Phillis  State House Bureau

Tuesday, February 25, 2014    Last Updated: Tuesday February 25, 2014, 10:54 Pm

 

 

Governor Christie on Tuesday unveiled a state spending plan that maintains aid for local schools, towns and property tax relief, and doesn’t raise taxes or cut significantly from any state programs or services.

Full text: Governor Christie's 2014 budget address

But while the proposed budget — at $34.45 billion, the largest in state history — also makes a record $2.25 billion payment into New Jersey’s underfunded public employee pension system, the Republican governor set the stage for a fight with Democratic legislative leaders over the growing cost of those workers’ benefits.

“We have made investments in this budget, but they are constrained,” Christie said. “We have provided for some key investments this year, but as time goes on, pension payments will take a larger and larger share of the budget.”

Related: Christie budget proposes $5M in grants to spur ways to boost students' learning time

A toned-down and at times hoarse Christie offered his latest budget — his fifth since taking office in early 2010 — during a roughly 30-minute speech before a joint session of the Legislature. He emphasized that no taxes would be increased and that some loopholes in corporate taxes would be closed.

His budget proposal did not include the signature income-tax cut Christie had repeatedly pressed for on the heels of his 20-point reelection in 2013, before news broke in January of his own staff’s involvement in the September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. That continuing scandal, with both federal prosecutors and a legislative committee conducting separate investigations, has taken a toll on Christie’s popularity, with public opinion polls showing voters now only narrowly approve of his job performance. He made no reference to the controversy in his address.

Democrats credited Christie for leaving out the hard-charging attacks that were the hallmark of his first term in office and a big part of the carefully choreographed persona that carried him to national prominence.

But they were harshly critical of what they saw as the governor’s decision to cast blame on public employees for the rising cost of their pension benefits, what Christie called an “entitlement.”

“I was a little offended by the word ‘entitlement,’ it is something people have paid into,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said at a new conference after the budget address.

Christie said that the state’s fiscal choices are limited by the swelling cost of its pension obligation as well as the cost of debt service and employee health benefits.

“Due to these exploding entitlement costs, we are failing our taxpayers when we refuse to honestly address these problems and try to fool them into believing that choices do not need to be made,” he said.

But Democrats rejected his message that the state was necessarily headed toward a fiscal crisis, maintaining that changes put in place in a 2011 bipartisan accord — trading benefits concessions on the part of employees with a commitment by the state to fund the pension system — needed time to work.

“If we stay the course, the pension system will be fine,” Sweeney said.

The Record - Christie budget proposes $5M in grants to spur ways to boost students' learning time

Tuesday, February 25, 2014    Last Updated: Wednesday February 26, 2014, 6:55 Am

BY LESLIE BRODY

Related: Christie budget proposes closing tax loopholes, no income tax cut

Governor Christie proposed $5 million to fund a new competitive grant for schools to explore ways to increase students’ learning time.

His plan, modeled on the federal “Race to the Top” contest, is more modest than many educators assumed he would put forward when he called last month for an extended school day and year to boost achievement. Christie said grants would go towards the best ideas and the most effective ones could be scaled up statewide.

Manchester Regional High School District Superintendent Richard Ney said he would pursue a grant to expand the tutoring he requires for juniors getting less than a C in math and English. Teaneck superintendent Barbara Pinsak said she would consider applying, but “Sometimes you go for grants and in the final analysis you spend more money on personnel than the results would warrant.”

Christie’s proposal boosts education funding for a fourth year in a row, up $481 million to $12.9 billion for fiscal 2015. That includes $9 billion in total aid to schools, about $37 million more than the current year; every district would receive a modest aid increase, including $10 per pupil to cover the cost of getting ready for new online tests, and $10 per pupil for other expenses.

The proposal continues to fall short of what the state’s 2008 funding law requires, but Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, said that most of his members “will be pleased they’re not losing aid.” Precise figures are expected Thursday.

Christie proposed $5 million more for preschool, bringing the total to $653 million for 53,000 students. Cynthia Rice, senior policy analyst at Advocates for Children of New Jersey, noted that increase was less than last year’s and fails to cover about 35,000 children entitled to free preschool. “It’s good they’re continuing to support existing programs but the question is whether that will sustain the level of quality that made our program nationally recognized,” Rice said.

Email: brody@northjersey.com. on twitter @lesliebrody

 


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828