Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) cheered the state Supreme Court ruling today in favor of the at-risk school children and said it was time for all parties to work together for the betterment of the schools and the children.
“This ruling confirms that this governor unfortunately failed to properly provide a proper education to at-risk children in our poorest school districts,” Oliver said in a release. “The governor breached his responsibility to protect at-risk children, and I applaud the court for recognizing it.
“It’s important to note that had the governor followed state law to begin with, the majority of additional school funding would have been awarded to suburban and rural districts. In fact, more than 70 percent of additional funding would have been sent to suburban and rural schools, providing a proper education and property tax relief to districts throughout the state.
“We must be committed to finding a way to help all school districts, as the governor should have done in the first place. I’m committed to doing that and am hopeful others will work cooperatively to accomplish that goal in the weeks ahead.
“This much is clear – everyone must now put the rhetoric aside and begin working together. The time for political sound bites and devotion to partisan ideology must finally be over. We have waged this fight for far too long. We have a problem here that needs to be fixed, and it won’t be fixed with over-the-top speeches and blame.”
And Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union) said in a statement that the governor’s policy of protecting the wealthy has been rejected.
“This order makes clear that this governor has failed New Jersey’s most at-risk school children with the very same budget policies that delivered the highest property tax increase in four years to New Jersey taxpayers,” he said.
“Basically, this governor’s philosophy of above all protecting the rich has now been soundly rejected.
“The governor may not want to take up his responsibility to govern, but the Assembly stands ready to lead and provide a plan that not only protects at-risk children, but helps property taxpayers beleaguered by the governor’s tax increases.”