Senate Republicans Stephen Oroho, Mike Doherty and Sam Thompson issued the following statement on the first meeting of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. As committee members, the senators are working on a bipartisan basis to examine the state’s broken school funding system – a major component of New Jersey’s property tax crisis.
“This committee to examine school funding reform was created on a bipartisan basis, and I am encouraged by the fact that we seem to share a common goal,” Senator Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset) said. I’ve had a constitutional amendment in since 2011 to make school funding as equitable as possible. I’ve been in this fight to restore fairness to school funding and provide property tax relief to residents for years. Our taxpayers and our children deserve no less.”
“Our flawed school funding formula creates inequities that hurt students and taxpayers alike,” Senator Stephen Oroho (R–Sussex, Warren, Morris) said. “I am hopeful that this committee will not limit itself to making slight adjustments to the current formula or just look to throw more money at the problem when we already spend near the top nationally in state aid per pupil. We simply cannot address high property taxes without enacting more comprehensive school funding reform.”
“Finding solutions to fix New Jersey’s inequitable school aid formula is critical to easing the property tax burden for our residents, especially those who reside in one of the many woefully underfunded school districts in suburban and rural communities throughout the state,” Senator Thompson (R-Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington) said. “I am committed to working diligently with my fellow committee members to finally deliver long-awaited and much needed school funding reform.”
The bipartisan Select Committee on School Funding Fairness was created through the Senate’s unanimous adoption of SR-100 on Jan. 10. Oroho, Thompson and Doherty are among the four Republican members of the committee, who will serve alongside four Democrat members. The other Republican member is committee Co-Chair Senator Joe Pennacchio.
The committee has been tasked with examining the issue of school funding, through hearings held around the state, to produce recommendations for legislative changes that will enact necessary reforms.
The committee’s first public hearing was held on Friday, Jan. 27 in Woolwhich Township. The next hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Middlesex County College. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.