On Thursday, NJEA members from around the state joined lawmakers in Trenton to stand up for children in every school district. Earlier this week, top Democrats in both houses of the legislature came to deal on school funding that aims take $46 million dollars in state aid from some school districts and redistribute it to others.
“I am here today because I am concerned about our students in East Orange. We don’t want our budget cut. Of course, we know that if the budget is cut, our children are going to suffer, and we want our children to have the very best” said Dr. Dawn Nichol-Manning, NJEA member from the East Orange School district. “ALL students have the right to learn and the right to equal resources if they are going to get a proper education. And we’re here to stand firm for all students.”
Wearing “Cuts Hurt Kids” stickers, NJEA members made their presence known as they walked the halls of the state house and talked with legislators from both sides of the aisle. NJEA members expressed their concern for the chaos that the proposed plan would have on students and schools in 126 districts. The plan seeks to divert funds from those districts and give those funds to other severely underfunded school districts. If passed, school districts would have to dramatically alter their budgets for the 2017 -2018 school year.
Earlier in the day, NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer joined Senate Republicans for a press conference as they demanded a realistic fix to a problem that has been years in the making. “It’s been eight years and $1 billion dollars short each year. NJEA has been advocating for more school funding for all school districts since school funding since 2008. It’s not acceptable to us, that, when we do fund school districts other schools have to suffer.”