Fifty-nine of New Jersey’s wealthiest school districts would receive no direct state aid for their operations next year — in effect, a 100 percent cut — under the governor’s proposed budget, according to state figures released on Wednesday.
The state would seek to reduce direct aid to nearly 600 districts by an amount equivalent to as much as 5 percent of their individual operating budgets, for an overall reduction of $820 million from the year before. The education cuts were revealed in detail for the first time since being proposed on Tuesday by Gov. Christopher J. Christie as part of his $29.3 billion budget plan.
For wealthier districts like Ridgewood, Millburn and Glen Ridge, that would mean losing the direct state aid that they receive for their classrooms — a relatively small percentage of their operating budget — forcing them to rely almost exclusively on local property taxes.
Large urban districts like Newark and Camden stand to lose the most actual dollars, though they would continue to receive a hefty share of state money to support their schools, many of whom serve poor and minority students.
The proposed cuts sent superintendents and school boards scrambling to rework their district budgets, which are to be submitted to the state for review next Monday. School budget votes are scheduled for April 20.
Many districts were already reeling from a $475 million reduction in direct state aid last month as part of Mr. Christie’s campaign to close a $2.2 billion budget deficit in the current fiscal year. “It’s a double whammy,” said Richard G. Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.
Jim O’Neill, superintendent of the Chathams, a district whose state aid would drop 86 percent, to $408,000, said it would probably have to reduce spending on building maintenance and improvements, charge student fees for extracurricular activities and, as last resorts, lay off teachers and school staff members, increase class sizes and pare high school electives.
“It’s disappointing because it means that people who have been supporting the local school district budget through their property taxes to the tune of 94 percent are now going to have that increase to 99 percent,” he said.
Christie, who is a crook (see here, here, and here) and a hypocrite (he's a "law and order" guy for other people, not so much for himself), seems to delight in cutting budgets, slashing pensions, laying off state workers, and just being an all-around dick.
On the other hand, he is cutting a tax on people who make over $400,000 a year because wealthy people pay too much in taxes.
Got that - school budgets cut by 100%, pension fund underfunded once again, state workers laid off, but wealthy people get a tax cut.
You get what you vote for and New Jersey voted for this bully.
Now they will pay for it.
Except for those making over $400,000 a year of course.
They get a tax cut.