NJEA statement on budget address

NJEA’s officers, President Marie Blistan, Vice President Sean M. Spiller and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty, issued this statement following Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address today:

“We applaud Gov. Murphy’s strong, progressive budget. It prioritizes support for students, helps New Jersey families and keeps the promises the state made to the educators who make our schools the best in the nation. In a time of unprecedented challenges, this budget points to a brighter future for our children and for all New Jersey residents.

“Gov. Murphy’s commitment to funding schools has paid dividends already, and this budget continues that commitment by investing an additional $700 million to help our students succeed. From investing in early childhood education, to closing the digital divide, to making higher education more accessible and more affordable to more families, this budget is a boon to our state and will keep us strong and competitive as we rebuild and move forward from the pandemic. Millions of families who choose New Jersey as a great place to raise children will reap the benefits.

“We are also pleased to see Gov. Murphy and the Legislature working together to fix the pension crisis created by their predecessors over many years. For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, New Jersey will contribute the full amount it owes to the pension system, achieving that milestone a year ahead of schedule. That is a display of true leadership and fiscal responsibility on the part of our elected leaders that will yield huge savings to taxpayers for years to come. It is certainly welcome news to public employees, who have made their full required contributions every one of those 25 years and who deserve the pensions they have earned through their careers of service to our state.

“This budget helps New Jersey keep building toward a stronger, fairer future for everyone.”