Jersey City mayor, state lawmakers clash over education funding at NJIT meeting

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and some state lawmakers quarreled about school funding during a debate at NJIT in Newark.

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney says that he wants to do away with adjustment aid for school funding, which gives extra money to only some districts, including Jersey City.

A large majority of districts are receiving less aid than they should be under the funding formula, which lawmakers say is a burden that goes to local taxpayers. Sweeney says that he would like to see a return to the school funding formula set by a 2008 law.

Jersey City schools stand to lose more than $100 million if the funding formula is corrected, an issue which did not sit well with Fulop.

Lawmakers accused Jersey City of not taxing its property owners enough and therefore not paying its fair share toward education. 

"Jersey City is the fifth lowest supporter of schools in the state," said Sweeney.

But the mayor says that Jersey City has struggling neighborhoods with students who need the funds.

"When you provide billions of dollars in tax corporate subsidies, you cannot cry poverty," Fulop said. "It reeks of hypocrisy."

Newark currently receives adjustment aid and would stand to gain money if it's funded at 100 percent under the law.

Gov. Chris Christie is expected to tackle school funding in his budget address next week. He says that his plan is equal funding for every student in the state, regardless of the district.

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