(TRENTON) – With the Christie administration facing a Sept. 1 statutory deadline to report on its required three-year review of the state’s school funding formula, Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement on Friday:
“The global economy has obviously gone through difficult times since this education funding formula was implemented nearly three years ago, so sadly the state has not been able to completely fund it, allowing everyone to see its full benefits.
“Still, we know the concept behind this formula is sensible, and that it has helped promote gains in critical areas such as quality preschool, narrowed development gaps between children in poor and wealthy schools and improved math scores and graduation rates.
“As the administration moves toward completing its review, I want to make clear that I expect the formula’s basic principle – that money should follow the children most in need – to remain a cornerstone.
“I also expect this review to be completed properly and thoroughly, with none of the mistakes that plagued our Race to the Top application.
“I will not look favorably on any change to this formula’s basic premise, and will research all options to stop that from happening should such a change be proposed.
“This formula is critical to our children’s future, and we must give it a fair chance to work and be fully funded before looking to make any major changes that steer us away from a core value – that all children have the right to achieve educational excellence.”