I-Team Investigates: New school funding plan

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? Gov. Jon Corzine has stirred up strong opinions with his new school spending plan.

The formula would give school districts just enough funding to pay for the core curriculum required by state law. The plan is designed to reverse situations similar to what has taken place in the Asbury Park School District. Thanks to state funding, Asbury Park spends a whopping $22,000 per student a year. However, the district?s students rank near the bottom in science and math.

Hopatcong spends only half as much, but its students do more than twice as well.

Corzine believes his plan will fix some of the spending issues.

?This administration, I think, has laid out a funding formula that will stand the test of time,? Corzine said.

But not everyone agrees. Corzine is promising funding increase to every school district in an effort to make his plan easier to swallow. However, critics say that?s not a smart move, with New Jersey shouldering $30 billion in debt.

?This new school funding formula is going to cost $150 million to administer,? said Rep. Alison Littell McHose.

Educators in poor districts also fear the move is the first step toward funding cuts. They say with graduation rates finally on the rise, now is not the time to slash funds.

The funding plan has been approved by state lawmakers. It now needs approval by the state Supreme Court.

School Funding FormulaSchool Report Card from the NJ Department of Education

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