TRENTON-New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy finally publicly addressed the devastating cuts his administration has launched against the Toms River School District and other school districts across the Jersey Shore.
Murphy said the headlines were unpleasant after he finally realized those cuts made by his last two budgets will have long term impact on the district which has already cut programs and over 80 positions just to compensate for last year’s cuts.
On the chopping block in Toms River are after school programs, all-day kindergarten and school sports, all of which are at risk of being cut by the school board to trim the budget to fit into Murphy’s new funding formula.
Murphy blamed the administration of former Governor Chris Christie for the cuts.
“Here’s the problem, we inherited a state where the school funding formula had been underfunded by $9 billion over eight years and was never allowed to work,” Murphy said. “We’ve corrected that aggressively in two years with historic investments on the dollar side and most school districts have gotten more than what they got before.”
“The ones who haven’t, most are moderately flatter down, because the formula has not been allowed to work for the demographics in the state over that eight year period of the Christie administration,” Murphy said.
“We cannot allow systems like yours to be hung out, and we haven’t,” Murphy said.
But hung out is exactly what has happened to many districts here at the Jersey Shore, not just Toms River. Toms River has not seen the benefits reaped by Murphy’s funding formula change and he acted as if this is a new problem, despite many meetings with district officials over the past few months.
Murphy said he’s going to “ask his folks” to reach out. He then boasted that New Jersey has one of the top rated school systems in the country.
Watch the full video here.