Here is an excerpt:
Between 1985 and the upcoming school year, state taxpayers will have sent $97 billion to the 31 Abbott school districts, compared to $88.2 billion to the remaining 546 districts for PreK-12 education. That’s 52% of total state education dollars going to 5% of districts.
Yet Abbott districts, receiving five times more per pupil than non-Abbott districts, have graduation rates that have been consistently 10 percentage points below the state average, according to the available New Jersey Department of Education data.
Click to see Christie's press release on The Fairness Formula, with links to the website.
At Thursday's school board meeting, board member Richard Wyatt said, "We need to find a way to have a discussion on that."
As a starting point, here is a statement from the New Jersey School Boards Association
There are several factors at play in any future change to the state funding formula, but I am among those who have wondered what would happen if the city's "poorer" status changed. The late Mayor Richard L. Taylor, who took credit for getting Plainfield added to the list of Abbott districts, also served as director of two community centers in the city. He used to speak of "the misery index" and made sure to paint a picture of need when benefactors came to visit the centers.
The city still has plenty of challenges, but is seeing much more interest from developers who hope to entice so-called "walking wallet" types to move here. At the same time, the school district has new situations such as hundreds of children who need to become proficient in English to complete their studies. There is a lot to discuss here, including demographics unforeseen in 1985.
Maybe the holiday weekend is not the right time to start a discussion, but it affords time at least to get some background on what Christie proposes and what Plainfield needs going forward.