Dialogue of the Day

Former Governors Brendan T. Byrne and Tom Kean in the Star-Ledger:
Q: Will the cumulative effect of overrides [on the probably 2% municipal tax cap] in wealthier towns create a greater imbalance in education?

BYRNE: You have inequality in education now. Caps are not going to do anything to minimize that.

KEAN: And you have to remember that in this budget, as in previous budgets, the state gives the majority of its school aid to less wealthy municipalities just to try to mitigate that inequality. And that will continue.

BYRNE: Local officials will tell you they are expanding the use of special education funds, that they are inadequate. So there’s always a gimmick.

KEAN: But remember only one shoe has dropped. The second shoe is a tool kit that will give mayors and councils the ability to deal with the cap, and that may include things like a better way of doing collective bargaining, and perhaps ways of dealing with special education. That won’t come until later in the summer or in the fall, but this tool kit will be more important to mayors than the 2 percent cap.