Wimberly Statement on Importance of Education Funding in School Districts Like Paterson

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following statement Wednesday on the importance of education funding in underpriviledged school districts:

“Education is the key component in improving one’s situation, which is why it is imperative to provide sufficient funding to school districts like my home district of Paterson.

“What will more money accomplish for Paterson school district? Reduced classroom sizes to allow the proper attention to be given to each student, SAT prep classes for young scholars looking toward college goals, music classes, and, when a majority of our school buildings are over 100 years old, much-needed facility repairs so students are overheated in the summer and wearing their coats in the classroom in the winter.

“Paterson school district has been severely underfunded by $280 million over the past eight years and have subsequently been forced to lay off over 500 staff members over the past seven years The most recently proposed layoffs include 232 staff members—120 of them teachers, which would just mean more substitutes, 52 supervisors and vice principals and 5 directors. For New Jersey’s second largest school district, this is unacceptable.

“It is a tragedy which has become a reality for far too many students. It’s been nearly three decades of trying to do the best we can with less. Parents, administrators, students nor I will give up the fight for funding.

“I will continue to work to raise awareness of what is happening in Paterson and fighting for the funding they have long deserved.”