Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on Tuesday called the Christie administration’s demise of the NJ After 3 program a sad day for the children of New Jersey’s working families.
For the last two years, Moriarty has advocated for keeping the NJ After 3 program alive during the budget process, successfully securing $3 million for the program last year, despite Governor Christie’s initial attempt to eliminate the funding in its entirety. This year, Christie once again proposed eliminating the funding, but Democrats reinserted it in the budget they passed, only to have the Governor decimate it with his veto pen.
“This is an invaluable program that helps working parents earn a livable wage while knowing their children are in a safe and productive after school environment. This is a prime example of the Governor’s callous indifference to the plight of working class families in New Jersey.
“The Governor is sitting on a healthy surplus, and backs spending public money to send students to private schools, while he throws public school children out on the street and under the proverbial bus in order to save $3 million out of a $30 billion budget,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden).
New Jersey After 3 is a statewide network of afterschool programs in urban, suburban and rural school districts. Moriarty noted that studies show that students who participated in New Jersey After 3 programs for two or more years achieved significant gains in language arts skills and demonstrated improvements in study skills, math skills and computer skills.
“This program has proven to be a cost-effective model that leverages public dollars to obtain matching funds from the private sector. This successful public/private partnership has helped keep children safe, improve achievement levels and allowed low and middle income families to work full-time. This is exactly the type of program we need to protect during tough economic times, not threaten with closure.
“If the Governor does not wake up to this reality, Monday will be a very sad day for thousands of New Jersey students,” added Moriarty.