Please fund the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA), the formula that calculates state aid to public schools, in a fair, equitable manner. If there is not enough money to fully fund the act, districts should receive state dollars equally in accordance to the proportion of funding available.
If the state currently funds SFRA at an overall level of 85%, then all districts should receive 85% of their SFRA determined allocation. It is not fair that Woodbury receives only 74% of its SFRA determined allocation while other districts are at or near full funding. Woodbury has unfairly been shorted many millions of dollars in state aid as a result of this inequitable distribution.
Again, we strongly request that you simply fund SFRA in a consistent, proportional basis across all school districts.
Dear Governor Christie,
As the interim superintendent of Woodbury City Public Schools, I am concerned about the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) and the failure of the state to live up to the promises of the reform in the current calculation of state aid to public schools, especially those schools in my district.
The SFRA is a “funding formula designed to ensure that all children in all communities have the opportunity to succeed.” However, SFRA is flawed since it is not currently fully funded nor funded in a fair, equitable manner. If there is not enough money to fully fund the act, then districts like mine should at least receive state dollars equally in accordance to the proportion of funding available. Woodbury City residents are shouldering a very unfair local tax burden due to this disproportionate funding of SFRA – Woodbury City’s effective tax rate is one of the HIGHEST in the state. How much longer are we going to be discriminated against through this process?
It is not fair that New Jersey currently funds SFRA at an overall level of approximately 85%, but Woodbury only receives 74% of its SFRA determined allocation, while other school districts are at or near full funding. Woodbury has unfairly been shorted many millions of dollars in state aid as a result of this inequitable distribution. I am urging you to correct this unfair imbalance that has put an extra burden on our school district to make up for these lost funds. Not only is this underfunding disastrous to schools throughout the state, but it is fundamentally inconsistent with New Jersey’s goal of improving student achievement.
Woodbury City Public Schools is an excellent school district that provides quality educational opportunities for students to graduate either ready to attend college or prepared for the working world as productive members of society. Should this underfunding of SFRA continue, the district may be hard pressed financially to continue achieving its high educational standards.
If public education is a top priority for you, I urge you to fix SFRA funding and equality in distribution.
Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I look forward to hearing from your office on this important issue.