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Panel wrestles with New Jersey school funding

Local News | May 06, 2014

Panel wrestles with New Jersey school funding

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers have divergent views on a fair way to distribute aid to school districts.

In a budget committee hearing on Monday, Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber asked Education Commissioner David Hespe whether it’s fair for the state to subsidize low-income districts at a much higher level per student compared with most suburban schools.

But Democratic lawmakers asked why Gov. Chris Christie’s administration wants to give schools a $20 per student boost in the coming year regardless of income.

Since Christie became governor, the state has not used a funding formula set in a 2008 law to allocate money to school.

The state Education Department says it would cost $1.1 billion more to fund schools at the level required under that formula.