TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie’s new plan for school funding is drawing some criticism from his opponents.
The governor’s plan mandates that every student in New Jersey receive the same amount of money in state aid, about $6,500. About 75 percent of the state would also see property tax relief under the plan.
The plan is upsetting some because it means stripping urban districts of much of their state aid- while replenishing other schools across the state.
“The most important thing is we have a job to do about educating the public about what's right and what's fair,” says Senate President Steve Sweeney. “Abandoning kids in urban areas isn't right.”
Tax experts say that although nearly three-quarters of the state would see their property taxes lessen, others may see them actually increase.
“Unfortunately, some of the districts that are poorer and need it the most are the ones that are going to be hurt by [the governor’s plan],” says Mercer County Tax Administrator Martin Guhl.
Guhl says that the town affected the most by the plan would be Passaic, which could see property taxes rise by about $1,200. He says that Glen Ridge would see their property taxes drop by about $4,500 a year.
“What I’d like to see is remove the school tax from the property tax and fund it through the income tax,” Guhl says.
Some state leaders say that they want accountability for education money that’s already in the system.
“I see kids still taking remedial courses at community colleges and four-year institutions post high school graduation. I say there's a problem,” says John Harmon, with the African American Chamber of Commerce.
Gov. Christie was scheduled to hold a forum on his education plan today, but it was postponed. The governor campaigned in Virginia with Donald Trump today.