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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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7-29-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJ Student Loan Agency to Staff: Don’t Tell Borrowers About Help Unless They Ask

Annie Waldman, ProPublica | July 29, 2016

It’s yet another obstacle for borrowers from the country’s largest state-based college loan program

Some restaurants have secret menus, special items that you can only get if you know to ask. New Jersey’s student loan program has secret options, too — borrowers may be able to get help from the agency, but only if they know to ask.

New Jersey has the largest state-based student loan program in the country, with particularly stringent terms that can lead to financial ruin, as ProPublica and the New York Times recently detailed. The agency overseeing the program says it has a policy to help some families if the children who were supposed to benefit from the loans die.

But internal emails show that staffers at the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, or HESAA, have been instructed not to tell families that they may qualify for help unless they explicitly ask.


Annie Waldman, ProPublica | July 29, 2016


Star Ledger--You're 'getting shafted every year' on school funding, Christie tells town

FAIR LAWN — Gov. Chris Christie resumed a statewide tour promoting his proposed school funding overhaul Thursday, telling residents of Fair Lawn they are "getting shafted every year, over and over again." 

In a public forum at the Fair Lawn Senior Center, the governor said his proposed Fairness Formula would give Fair Lawn an 814 percent increase in school aid, enough that the borough could lower the average property tax bill by $2,223 over three years.  

"You deserve better than what you are getting," Christie said. "I want folks in Fair Lawn who want to stay in Fair Lawn to be able to afford to stay in Fair Lawn." 

Currently, New Jersey's $9.1 billion in direct school aid is allocated primarily through a formula that gives districts extra money for students from low-income families, students learning to speak English and special education students. 

The existing formula also considers each community's ability to raise revenue for its schools through property taxes and expects wealthier communities to a pay a higher percentage of school costs with their own tax dollars.  


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| July 28, 2016 at 2:06 PM, updated July 28, 2016 at 5:44 PM


The Record--Christie hopeful current N.J. Supreme Court more likely to back education plan

. Gov. Christie said Thursday he was hopeful that the current crop of New Jersey Supreme Court justices would support his plan to overhaul how the state pays for public schools.

“This is a whole new court we have before us,” said Christie, speaking at the Fair Lawn Senior Center Thursday, noting that he has appointed four of the seven people on the court.

Christie has been traveling around the state to promote his plan to change the state’s funding formula to give schools a flat sum of $6,599 per student no matter where they live or the area’s income levels.

Under a decades-old court decision, the majority of state aid goes to 31 urban districts that have large numbers of low-income students. Christie said that uneven distribution of state aid has driven up property taxes for most New Jersey taxpayers, yet the schools getting the aid still are “failing.”

The governor is pressing the Legislature to approve his school funding formula as a constitutional amendment to be placed on the November 2017 ballot, giving voters the choice whether to enact the new school funding plan.


HANNAN ADELY| staff writer | The Record| July 29, 2016





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