I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

School Funding Fairness

Bruce Baker and the ELC have published a very important report on school funding fairness. It's an issue that needs to be considered in the current "reform" climate, especially here in NJ.

In fact, the National Report Card could hardly put NJ it a better light: we not only provide a lot of money to the schools, we distribute that money more equitably among wealthier and poorer districts than just about any other state.

But what happens when you cut the total pool of funding?

I always thought that this was where Christie was headed: he was moving the pieces into place for a 'burbs-vs-cities education funding war. He'd end all state funding going back to the 'burbs, his base would get pissed, and he'd have public opinion behind him to overturn Abbott or SFRA or whatever it is that sends money to city schools. I thought that was what the whole point of the John Wallace controversy.

But it really hasn't played out that way so far. The photo-ops with Cory Booker, the charter school push, the war with the NJEA - none of it has really led to a message for the 'burbs that says, "Blame the city schools for your taxes!" It's all been the greedy teachers' fault.

But just wait - it's coming. He will stab Booker in the back and gut state funding for Newark schools faster than the time it takes him to put on his makeup for his next Morning Joe appearance. He did it to Sweeney and he'll do it to anyone if he feels he can get a few political points.

Anyway, read the report; it's important to think about this going forward.


Unknown said...

I saved the Open Letter to Teachers page's code and posted it here:

Duke said...

Thanks Karen - the more links, the better.