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Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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2-14-07 GSCS letter to Gov Corzine & Commr of Education Davy - Request for State Aid FY0708
EXCERPT "...We urge the administration not to drive property taxes even higher by allowing the state to enter a sixth straight year of static funding for schools in this regard; we urge the administration not to ignore one of the most basic responsibilities of our state government: that is, to bolster those public school children in need no matter where they live - middle income, and lower income and wealthier communities. To provide aid to disabled children, regardless of where they live, sends a positive two-fold message to New Jersey citizens: that, on the side of good governance, the Governor cares deeply about the public education of our neediest children, and two, that the Governor recognizes the rational role that state school aid plays in offsetting property tax increases tied to state-mandated programs..."

GARDEN STATE COALITION OF SCHOOLS/GSCS

210 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08608

February 14, 2007

 

The Honorable Jon Corzine

Governor

The State of New Jersey

 

Lucille Davy

Commissioner of Education

The State of New Jersey

                                                                                      

Dear Governor Corzine and Commissioner Davy,

·         The Administration has stated that it cannot come up with a school funding formula for next year;

·         The flat funding, which amounts to approximately $2.2B over these past 5 years, is a direct tie-in to the growth in property taxes; approximately $557M in special education entitlement aid has not been funded to disabled students in the same time frame. 

·         Real tax reform has not been established and tax burden will not be relieved in the overwhelming majority of our towns and school communities....

·         The legislature is certainly relieved to not have to deal with a new school funding formula entering this fall's election where all 120 legislative seats are up for election.

What can we point to as a positive step from Trenton that begins to resolve fairness in school aid support for all New Jersey communities, balanced by state acknowledgement of the role state school aid plays in relation to increasing local property taxes?

The administration can take the high road lead to help offset local property taxes, and thus help local taxpayers, through the vehicle of special education state support aid. This can be accomplished by meeting the state’s own laws, and bringing this aid up to date to FY0708 levels. The result would be more equitably distributing school aid via special education school funding to virtually all of our school communities with a direct and positive impact on the individually disabled students.

We urge the administration not to drive property taxes even higher by allowing the state to enter a sixth straight year of static funding for schools in this regard; we urge the administration not to ignore one of the most basic responsibilities of our state government: that is, to bolster those public school children in need no matter where they live - middle income, and lower income and wealthier communities. To provide aid to disabled children, regardless of where they live, sends a positive two-fold message to New Jersey citizens: that, on the side of good governance, the Governor cares deeply about the public education of our neediest children, and two, that the Governor recognizes the rational role that state school aid plays in offsetting property tax increases tied to state-mandated programs.

We look forward to working with your administration on this issue and the school finance discussion as it progresses.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of GSCS’ request.

Lynne Strickland, Executive Director                                                     

cc: GSCS Exec Board Officers                                     

 


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