At tonight’s debate, some GOP education funding straight talk is long overdue

I don’t know if you’re following this nonsensical school funding “debate” between Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Save Jerseyans, but it’s rich. It really is!

Prieto, aligned with the New Jersey (Mis)education Association, wants to spend an inordinate amount of tax dollars ($125 million) right away on education funding.

Sweeney? He wants to phase in $500 million.

This is like choosing suicide by a toaster in the bathtub or a shotgun in the mouth, folks.

The end result is the same… and gruesome. 

Some facts you AREN’T hearing from the Democrats (but will hopefully hear at tonight’s GOP gubernatorial debate down at Stockton University):

(1) New Jersey already spends $13 billion PER year on K-12 education.

(2) That’s more than the TOTAL annual budget of 15 other U.S. states (and roughly equivalent to the total annual budget of Hawaii).

(3) And approximately half of New Jersey educational funding aid goes to 5% (not 50% of 15%) of our school districts. The same districts Prieto now tells us aren’t getting enough money.

At what point is a Republican going to go beyond the “we need to equalize the funding formula” scripted lines and say the obvious:

MONEY IS CLEARLY THE PROBLEM IS PUBLIC EDUCATION!

What’s missing isn’t cash; it’s common sense. 

We’re presently subsidizing a broken system and compounding that sin by driving the price ever-higher for the middle class property taxpayers who subsidize that broken system.

Money isn’t caring.

Reform (beginning with a new school funding formula AND the adoption of free market, school choice reforms in those 5% districts) IS the only way to go if the children, and the people paying for them, are who we really care about.

Persuadable New Jersey voters instinctively know this but haven’t yet heard the argument (or don’t know the staggering numbers behind it).

There’s no time like tonight to begin making that case stripped of the Trenton jargon and devoid of the eggshell walking for which New Jersey simply doesn’t have the time in 2017. 

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