NJEA today offered its condolences to the family of Gov. Brendan Byrne. Gov. Byrne’s long record of achievement as a two-term governor from 1974-1982 included revolutionizing school funding in New Jersey, prompting an investment in public education that helped our public schools become some of the best in the nation.
NJEA President Marie Blistan offered this remembrance:
“We offer our deepest condolences to Gov. Byrne’s family and loved ones. Students and families in New Jersey’s public schools owe him a debt of gratitude. As the governor responsible for living up to the Supreme Court’s funding mandate in Robinson v. Cahill, he risked his political career to ensure that the state could begin to live up to its constitutional obligation to all students, particularly those living in New Jersey’s most economically challenged communities. Threatened with being a one-term governor if he carried out the court’s funding mandate by raising much needed revenue for urban schools, he stood for educational justice. His integrity was rewarded, as he was handily reelected and went on to become one of New Jersey’s most beloved former governors. His wisdom and character will be missed, but his legacy lives on in the lives of millions of students who had better educational opportunities as a result of his leadership.”
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