Arguments begin in N.J. school funding

    New Jersey’s Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in the schools funding case.

    David Sciarra with the Education Law Center wants the state to comply with the school funding formula for the next three years.

    He says thousands of struggling students are being deprived of their constitutional right to a “thorough and efficient education” because of reductions in state aid.

    “The cuts, if you look at this, really fell hardest on the at-risk kids. It’s the extra supports for students who are struggling academically,” he said.

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    Former Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero argued the state’s case. He said the fiscal crisis forced spending cuts in every area.

    “Rather than focus on additional dollars that the state simply does not have to spend, today’s focus should be on legislative reforms that hope to improve student achievement and effect greater efficiencies,” Verniero said.

    Outside the courtroom, Piscataway Schools Superintendent Robert Copeland said he’s hoping the Supreme Court will get funding for at-risk students back on track.

    “We would certainly like an affirmative move towards getting us to adequacy, and monies in that direction would be monies to support our remedial programs and our kids at risk,” said Copeland.

    If the court orders more education funding, the proposed state budget will have to be reworked.


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