NJEA’s officers, President Marie Blistan, Vice President Sean M. Spiller and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty, issued this statement regarding the budget bill released by the New Jersey Legislature on Sept. 21, 2020:
“We are pleased that the Legislature has taken the governor’s strong, progressive budget and added additional funding for key priorities that will help New Jersey’s students and their families. In particular, the decision to restore $25 million in funding for county colleges is a lifeline to those vital institutions and the students they serve. At a time when affordable education and career training is more important than ever, county colleges are going to be a key driver of New Jersey’s ongoing economic recovery. This is a smart investment in our future prosperity.
“We are also pleased that funding has been restored for the Office of School Based Services. That funding is critical to supporting the health and well-being of thousands of vulnerable students in New Jersey’s public schools. For some families, school is the only place they can access critical services such as mental health counseling, substance abuse prevention and other key supports. By ensuring those services can continue uninterrupted, this budget helps ensure a brighter future for students and families across New Jersey.
“While this is still an austere budget and there is still work to do on providing every school district the funding it needs to fully support its students, Gov. Murphy’s initial proposal and the Legislature’s additions together provide a budget that prioritizes students, their families and our communities.
“We urge the Legislature to pass this budget bill and Gov. Murphy to sign it so we can begin down the road to recovery.”