Corzine's School Cuts Aren't a Solution
Published: April 12, 2006
Re "Corzine Wants Poor Schools to Make Do With Less Aid" (news article, April 8):
You say that New Jersey's governor was "signaling a willingness to tackle" a contentious issue in asking the State Supreme Court to freeze financing to the so-called Abbott school districts, which are poor and mainly urban. More accurately, Gov. Jon S. Corzine is willing to put the education of vulnerable children at risk in order to avoid the contentious tax structure issues underlying the state's budget problems.
The landmark court case Abbott v. Burke required the state to guarantee that poor districts were able to spend as much as the successful suburban districts. The children in the Abbott districts need the money being directed to their schools. This money is the only chance they will ever have to get an education that prepares them to be capable citizens and workers.
If we look at state and local taxes as a percentage of per capita income, New Jersey lags behind New York and Connecticut, according to a report by the Institute on Education Law and Policy at Rutgers University. Instead of freezing financing for our low-income, black and Hispanic students, the governor should tackle these underlying tax structure issues.
Mary A. Hunter
South Orange, N.J., April 11, 2006
The writer is director of the National Access Network, Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College.