Dear Friends: 

In March, we introduced A-3420, making more than $122M available to 142 school districts that have been hardest hit by the failure to fund the SFRA.  If this bill becomes law, these funds would be available within the next two years. This one-time funding allocation could be used to retain teachers, support programs and capital projects, for special education, library and technology upgrades and sports and the arts.  We see it as an important tool to meet a critical, immediate need while the discussion about how to fund the SFRA and our school funding system long-term rages on. We are also proud that our bill does not take money away from any other district. In addition, this bill actually can be used as a complement to other future school funding legislation which will not provide relief to districts until after the 2016-2017 school year. 

We are sharing our August 1st Star Ledger op-ed, as well as an August 16 Asbury Park Press editorial which may be of interest.  We know that local property taxes, which fund our school districts, create a financial burden for families all over the state.

Our 8/1 opinion piece traces the history of the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA) and the state’s failure to fund it.  We also provide insight into the financial challenges facing our school districts and present a legislative solution to address it.   

Rather than complaining about a completely inequitable situation and the lack of a rational basis for allocation of state aid to school districts, we have proposed a solution.  Working closely with educators, stakeholders and members of  various Boards of Education, we crafted a bill which provides immediate and substantial relief to 142 different school districts, including South Orange/Maplewood and West Orange.    

Please be assured that we will make A3420/S2437 a cornerstone of the SFRA conversation because it is the best route to a fairer formula.  Ultimately, we will work to see that every school district is fully-funded according to the SFRA, the constitutionally tested method which currently exists and which we wholeheartedly support.

We welcome your input as on this vital issue, and renew commitment to deliver aid to our legislative district as soon as we can. 

Very truly yours,    

Mila and John

A new plan to aid New Jersey schools | Opinion Star-Ledger : http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/08/a_new_plan_to_aid_new_jersey_schools_opinion.html

Asbury Park Press EDITORIAL: School-funding fix requires consensus  : http://www.app.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/08/16/school-funding-new-jersey-reform/88867634/

NJSPOTLIGHT : ‘OTHER’ SCHOOL-FUNDING PLAN PROMISES FAST RELIEF, BUT DOES IT HAVE A CHANCE? : http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/08/15/other-school-funding-plan-promises-fast-relief-but-does-it-have-a-chance/#

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