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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

School funding and you, the taxpayer -- tonight

Plainfield's League of Women Voters hosts a don't-miss forum this evening on how changes in school funding may impact Plainfield taxpayers.

Under NJ Supreme Court rulings, the state has had to provide special funding to the so-called Abbott Districts (of which Plainfield is one).

That special funding has meant that for over a decade, Plainfield taxpayers have not had to face the annual increases in school levies to cover the ACTUAL costs of running the district.

All that is scheduled to change with a new funding formula advocated by Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green and enacted by the Legislature that would effectively ELIMINATE Abbott District funding in favor of a new formula.

The forum, put together by local LWV president and long-time public education activist Herb Green, will feature Gordon MacInnes, who
spent five years as Assistant Commissioner of Education with responsibility for the Abbot Schools, and Dr. Steve Gallon, Plainfield's new superintendent of schools.

If you have been following the tussle over school funding, you will know that the Supreme Court threw a curve ball to Corzine on November 18, when it ruled that a special master had to review the proposed new funding formula's constitutionality.

MacInnes, who is
a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, wrote an OpEd on the issue which appeared in the November 25 editions of the Star-Ledger ("The Supreme Court's Abbot delusion").

Is MacInnes speaking an uncomfortable truth? Should the Abbotts be dismantled? What will the impact be for Plainfield taxpayers? Where does Dr. Gallon stand?

You won't want to miss what Gallon and MacInnes have to say -- and perhaps to get in a few good questions and comments of your own.

LWV School Funding Forum
7:00 PM Tonight
Emerson Community School
East 3rd Street and Emerson Avenue

-- Dan Damon

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