Threat of government shutdown looms amid school funding battle

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TRENTON -

As tense discussions about school funding continue in New Jersey, Democrats say a government shutdown is possible.

Young students and their parents swarmed the State House in Trenton Thursday as the fight for school funding gets personal.

Lawmakers have been debating solutions to school funding inequalities for months.

With just over two weeks until the budget is due, top Democrats came to a compromise to reallocate $46 million from some schools' adjustment aid, which was extra money under the state's formula that was supposed to be temporary. They also proposed adding $100 million in funding, granting some districts an increase.

However, the plan also strips money from schools that are chronically underfunded and already struggling.

The debate is split between those who think a change needs to happen now and those who want to wait for a better solution. Debbie Baer, who currently pays for all of her son’s school activities in the Robbinsville School District in Mercer County, is in favor of waiting.

“So there's a max of $300, but I'm already paying property taxes. I live in a two-bedroom townhouse. I pay almost $6,000 in taxes, so I'm already tapped out. And if we would fully fund the formula, these problems would go away,” she said.

Reporter Katie Kyros will speak with Democrats Thursday afternoon to get an update on the likelihood of a government shutdown if a compromise isn’t reached. Stay with News 12 for more details.

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