OLS report shows how poor districts could get less under Christie’s plan to change formula

By John Mooney

Whether Gov. Chris Christie’s FY 2013 state budget hurts or helps public schools has been an open debate, with today’s Assembly hearing on the budget unlikely to bring any new consensus.

The governor and his administration have said emphatically that the latest budget proposal is a boost to schools, with overall state spending for education seeing a $213 million increase to what the administration maintains is a record high amount for the state.

In its favor, close to 500 districts will see increases next year, easing some of the lingering pain of the last two years and quieting any statewide criticism of the funding plan.

But a budget analysis by nonpartisan legislative staff highlights the ongoing debate in the details of that plan, with questions raised to whether the increases this year and next are masking a longer term shift from the state’s support for especially at-risk students to a funding system favoring wealthier suburban districts.


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