Christie’s budget, which he unveiled last week, includes almost $9 billion in school aid -- $97 million more than the current fiscal year. But public school advocates said the budget still does not fulfill the school funding formula the state created in 2009.
“The proposed budget underfunds New Jersey public schools by $1.2 billion when compared with what the formula stipulates,” Susan Cauldwell, a representative of Save our Schools NJ, told the committee.
Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, chairman of the committee, agreed that state funding should be stepped up.
“Until we fully fund the 2009 formula, school budgets will be balanced on the backs of local property tax payers,” he said. “It’s a hurdle that we’re going to have to keep dealing with going forward. Education is the greatest driver of your property taxes.”