(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Tuesday on news the NJ After 3 program that serves working class New Jersey families is going to cease operation following Gov. Chris Christie’s budget cuts:
“This is yet another tragedy delivered by Gov. Christie to New Jersey’s working class families, and the worst thing about it is it was all avoidable had the governor simply put sound public policy ahead of conservative ideology.
“The Democratic budget responsibly restored $3 million to the NJ After 3 program to help it maintain its quality and affordable programs that benefited communities across our state, but the governor vetoed that funding, killing a program so vital to our children.
“This program has kept children safe and away from gangs and other ill-advised activities. It improved student achievement. It helped working families. It was the best kind of public-private partnership.
“Gov. Christie has some explaining to do to the working families who are losing this valuable program and now facing unnecessary uncertainty as to the safety and educational future of their children.
“We can’t discuss improving educational outcomes for at-risk children without investing the reDests to supplement what happens during the school day.”