NJEA President Marie Blistan released this statement praising Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for coming to an agreement on a plan to approve much-needed borrowing to help New Jersey weather the economic downturn crated by the COVID-19 pandemic:

“By coming to an agreement on responsible bonding to prevent devastating budget cuts, Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin have once again demonstrated real leadership as they work together to help New Jersey navigate the incredibly difficult circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While borrowing should be a last resort, it will be necessary to protect New Jersey’s working families and the services they rely on, including our public schools. By opening up an additional source of funding, they have signaled that they are taking very seriously the needs of New Jersey students and families.

“This is another example of these leaders striving to find common ground for the common good. Recently, they worked together with NJEA on a bill to reduce health insurance costs for educators while also saving school districts hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when every extra dollar is needed to ensure that schools and students have the resources they need to begin school in the fall, whether that happens in-person or through remote instruction. They have also worked together on other legislation to provide economic support to working people and assistance to those struggling with the economic fallout of this pandemic. While we are far from the end of our challenges, New Jersey is fortunate to have elected representatives who are taking this pandemic seriously and are looking out for the welfare of the people who elected them.

“We look forward to working with Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin throughout this challenging time to ensure that our students and their families are protected, prioritized and provided with the resources they need to survive and thrive during this very difficult time.”

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