Students, teachers protest Gov. Murphy’s education funding formula
Thousands of New Jersey students and teachers descended on the state capital Tuesday to protest the governor’s education funding formula.
Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled his $38.6 billion 2020 fiscal year budget in a speech at the State House Tuesday afternoon.
"Together, we are beginning to properly fund our public schools, strengthening a public education engine that is the foundation for the middle class, and, at the same time, providing much-needed property tax relief,” Murphy said.
Under the governor’s proposals, some school districts will see massive cuts due to declining enrollment and wealth. This plan prompted the large protest outside the State House.
"There were busloads coming from all over the state, because it's not just our town, it's towns that are in the same position as us,” says Brick Township Mayor John Ducey.
The Brick Township School District is facing a $23 million cut in funding over the next six years.
"We still have a number of special-needs children and a number of special programs … all those students are more expensive to educate and therefore making cuts doesn't make any sense for our district,” the mayor says.
School officials say that the budget cuts could force them to increase class sizes, reduce staff and cut some programs, including some extracurricular programs.
Brick school officials were able to meet with Murphy’s chief of staff to express some of their concerns. Superintendent Gerard Dalton says in a statement, "Our discussion focused on productive solutions for the future of school funding in New Jersey. We look forward to our continued work with Gov. Murphy’s office and appreciate their willingness to meet with us in such short notice."
Dalton says that another meeting is in the works. He says that he hopes that the governor listen to how much the school funding is needed.