A report released Wednesday by New Jersey Policy Perspective suggested that lawmaker’s fully funding the state’s school funding formula may not be enough to keep all the state’s schools above water.
“The state has in place a reasonable, well thought out, flexible structure for financing its schools,” Rutgers University professor Bruce Baker, the report’s author, said. “However, SFRA was designed to meet outcome standards that are more than a decade old, based on schooling conditions and costs of that same period. It needs updating, but the basic structure is there. First, fund the formula. Then recalibrate to meet current demands.”
Baker recommended that the state work on getting the most out of the its school funding formula in its current form before making changes to the plan.
He said the tax structure used to fund schools could be made more progressive and suggested pre-K funding be embedded into the funding formula, among other measures.
“This report goes to great lengths to show the critical importance of New Jersey fulling funding the school funding formula,” NJPP President Brandon Mckoy said. “Just like the rest of our assets, New Jersey’s education system works better for everyone when we invest in it. By investing in our schools, we are investing in our children and our future.”