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Wimberly: Long-Term School District Takeovers Need Review

(Trenton) – Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen) decried the lack of strategy presented in state’s school district takeovers during Thursday’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing with Department of Education and the Schools Development Authority:

“We are sworn to provide a thorough and efficient education for all of New Jersey’s children. However, this administration’s proposal would drastically replete education coffers in districts already falling short.

“The lack of direction for state-run school districts, the proposed funding change for disabled children and, in some cases, discriminatory aid formulas need thorough review. Moving forward we need to ensure this year’s budget has New Jersey taking more steps forward than back.

“Entering a school district to assess accountability and provide direction to improve its standard of education has been New Jersey’s answer to fixing schools in districts failing to keep up. Paterson is one of them, but we now have 22 years of mostly disappointing reports and figures and no clear exit strategy. It’s unacceptable.

“In most cases of state-run school districts, we have only seen decades of minimal improvement and no exit strategy. A concrete plan must be made for these districts or another avenue taken to truly support them. Greater accountability from the state in all of our districts and a fair and inclusive funding formula will be a part of that balance.”