I wasn’t surprised by today’s news concerning Governor Christie’s proposal to basically flat fund all school districts (suburban & urban/Abbott). I wasn’t surprised by the misleading sales pitch of a hashtag #EqualFunding4EveryChild.
To be quite honest, I’m not surprised by anything coming out of the Governor’s office these days. He made it clear that he would do everything in his power to push charter schools while defunding public schools up until his last day in office. He’s certainly keeping his promise.
I often wonder how he sleeps at night knowing the kind of damage he’s allowing to befall CHILDREN. Hmm, children, not objects or garbage but KIDS. And to try and use double-talk as a way to set up the framework in hopes that the masses will buy into the notion that flat funding the entire state and giving all students the same amount of funding will benefit the children no matter what kind of school district they reside in or with no regard to the difference in circumstances or availability of resources is just baffling.
I mean, at some point common sense must take the wheel. I’m no expert but I think it should be a no brainier that many of the issues affecting urban school districts aren’t present in suburban school districts. Not to say that there aren’t any issues at all in suburban school districts but just that urban school districts are located in mostly poverty stricken communities which require more attention, and indeed more resources/funding as was ruled by the NJ Supreme Court in a 2008 landmark decision.
To flatline all funding for every district is to ignore the fact that suburban districts and Abbott/urban districts have glaring differences and challenges, especially in the area of education. This isn’t a matter of a lack of equality for the children. This is a matter of a lack of equitability for the children.
Corey L. Teague
Activist, former school board member