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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Green votes to dismantle Abbott districts

Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green abandoned Plainfield's children AND the Legislative Black Caucus yesterday evening to cast his vote to effectively dismantle the Abbott school districts.

Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign the legislation without delay.

In a thoughtful review of the issues involved in the governor's plan, Newark schools superintendent Marion Bolden recently outlined (see here) both the achievements that have been made by the state's Abbott districts -- including Plainfield -- over the last seven years, and the disaster the new funding formula will mean for those same districts and their taxpayers.

The legislation will put the new plan in place immediately, which for Plainfield will mean a 2% increase in the next year and then zero increases in the following two years, after which it is possible that state funding may actually DECREASE.

Whatever your feelings about public schools or the success of the Abbott districts, you can understand that this means state aid will not even cover non-discretionary expenses -- salary increases and utilities, especially -- over the next three years.

The options will be to cut programs -- thus harming our children's life prospects -- or to raise property taxes. Or maybe both.

Abbott proponents are sure to take the state to court over the abandonment of the judicially mandated Abbott system, but that will take years to settle.

In the meantime, Plainfielders will have to deal with the wreckage Green's vote brings in its trail.

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Thanks Jerry FOR NOTHING!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think Jerry and others--politicians or whoever, should start a volunteer fund raising group. We have been accepting "handouts" that haven't helped our kids or taxpayers or our taxbills!
How long do we accept "charity"? I was taught to "save for a rainy day"

Anonymous said...

Don't tell me you expected JG to do something for the City of Plainfield and it's kids.