Houghtaling & Downey: Governor Christie Finally Wakes Up to School Funding Crisis in His Budget Address

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TRENTON -- Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey criticized Governor Christie’s approach to school funding following his annual budget address at the State House on Tuesday. Houghtaling and Downey, who have made school funding a hallmark of their legislative profile since taking office, have previously denounced Christie’s proposed “Fairness Formula,” which would increase state school aid to wealthy districts at the expense of urban and working class districts.

As part of their ongoing effort to bring attention to school funding issues, Houghtaling and Downey were joined in Trenton by local school superintendents from Monmouth County, including Dr. Lamont Repollet of Asbury Park, Dr. Rocco Tomazic of Freehold Borough, Dr. Tami Crader of Neptune Township, and Dr. Jared Rumage of Red Bank Borough.

“It is difficult to take the Governor’s words at face value when he has previously ignored calls for help from underfunded districts such as Freehold Borough and Red Bank, while proposing slashing more than 70 percent of funding to districts like Asbury Park. But Assemblywoman Downey and I look forward to continuing the fight for meaningful school funding fixes,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “We have toured schools all across Monmouth County and worked in tandem with local superintendents on bringing relief to overcrowded and underfunded schools. School funding reform is absolutely key to bringing about real property tax relief in New Jersey, which is our top priority.”

“Not once has our Governor fully funded the current school funding formula, which might be why he feels confident calling it a disaster. Even so, Assemblyman Houghtaling and I have been working on school funding issues since the day we took office, and we will continue to do so,” said Downey (D-Monmouth), “We will continue fighting for real fairness in school funding, without pitting school districts against each other or unfairly punishing students from working class families. Every child deserves a quality education and a solid foundation for their future.”

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