An argument for ‘fair funding’ plan?

Much is being made over an appearance this weekend on N.J. Capitol Report by NJEA Executive Director Vince Giordano, where

Much is being made over an appearance this weekend on N.J. Capitol Report by NJEA Executive Director Vince Giordano, where Giordano, asked about the prospects for poor kids in failing schools, quipped “Life’s not always fair and I’m sorry about that.”

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The comment was bad, but what followed is arguably more interesting.

The question from host Rafael Pi-Roman concerned the Opportunity Scholarship Act sponsored by Sen. Ray Lesniak and Sen. Tom Kean Jr.  Giordano was objecting to the tax breaks afforded private companies under the bill and said he thought allowing children to leave the public school system was wrong.

“To suggest that we take money from taxpayers and give it to certain taxpayers to use to educate their kids outside of public schools just seems to me to be kind of a  [unintelligible.]”

His comment seemed to echo a similar argument made by state Sen. Michael Doherty, who has advocated for a fair school funding formula that would give each student an equal amount of aid, rather than dole it out based on a formula that gives low-income districts the lion’s share of the money.

As it is currently implemented, the school funding formula is all about taking money from taxpayers to give to “certain taxpayers” to educate their kids.  What Giordano objects to is using it for private schools.

Giordano and Doherty are likely about as far apart ideologically as two men from the same state can be, but it seems they agree on something.

An argument for ‘fair funding’ plan?