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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean.

Senate Republicans push school funding reform package

By Nikita Biryukov, March 04 2019 4:55 pm

Senate Republicans are pushing a package of school funding reform bills they say would cut costs in the state while improving education quality.

Among the measures is one that closely mirrors a state takeover of extraordinary special education funding that Senate President Steve Sweeney has advocated for in the past.

Such a measure would shift the cost of certain students with special needs from municipalities that may or may not have funding to the state.

While Republican measures on such hot-button issues rarely see much success in a legislature dominated by Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean said he was optimistic about the package’s chances.

“The senate minority leader’s optimism, I think, is warranted here because we have already had discussions with the senate president’s office, both privately and publicly,” State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said. “He said that he sympathizes, certainly, with the extraordinary special ed part of this.”

Republicans may find their measure more successful if Sweeney and Murphy once again butt heads over some issue. Should that once more become the case, Republican votes may be rewarded with movement on the reform package.

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