Supreme Court Releases School Funding Ruling

The NJ Supreme Court released its ruling today regarding whether the State violated the constitutional rights of children residing in our 31 poorest school districts by not fully funding the School Funding Reform Act. And the three concurring Justices – Albin, La Vecchia, and Stern – are irate.

Justices Rivera-Soto and Hoens dissented. Justices Rabner and Long recused themselves. The ruling says that the State must budget an additional $500 million in school funding to be divided exclusively among Abbott districts.

Here’s a few examples of the umbrage displayed by the Court, the shrill note of betrayal that echoes through the 59 pages. The State has “retreated from the hard-won progress that has state has made toward guaranteeing the children in Abbott districts the promise of educational opportunity.” It has “failed to honor its commitment.” The State’s defense of the aid cuts exemplifies “faulty logic;” its presentation was “simultaneously premature and laggard.”
To state the question is to present its answer: how is it that children of the plaintiff class of Abbott schoolchildren, who have been designated victims of constitutional deprivation and who have secured judicial orders granting them specific, definite, and certain relief, must now come begging to the Governor and Legislature for the full measure of their education funding? And, how can it be acceptable that we come to that state of affairs because the State abandoned its promise? The State’s position is simply untenable.
Here’s thorough coverage from PolitickerNJ, The Record, and NJEA’s response.

Despite speculation that Gov. Christie would ignore an unfavorable ruling, he said today, "I realize that regardless of my personal beliefs, I must comply with the constitutional requirement."

A few thoughts:

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