The Education Law Center, a leading voice for fair school funding in NJ and the legal and political advocate behind the landmark Abbott vs. Burke case, just released a list of the 50 most underfunded school districts in the state of New Jersey.
To those who have been following this issue, it is no surprise to find the Newton Public Schools on this list. The nature of the inequitable distribution of state aid is staggering. In 2015-16, there were 197 New Jersey districts that received more than 100% of their calculated formula aid, and another 177 who received less than 60% of theirs. This is simply unfair!
The Newton Public Schools receive only 56% of the state aid we are due according to the formula, which amounts to an annual shortfall of $4.5 million or $4,101 per student.
The time has come for Newton community members to stand up and have your voices heard. Our Fair Share is a Facebook page started by community members in Delran to build support for changes to the funding distribution. They have organized a petition through change.org, which citizens are encouraged to join. Also, I encourage you to let our state legislators know you want their support when legislation comes through to address funding inequity.
For more up-to-date information and media coverage, please visit the School Funding Fairness page on our district website. You can also get complete FY17 statewide and individual district funding information at Education Law Center's School Funding Data site.