N.J. High Court Upholds School-Funding Reforms

     (CN) – The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the state’s school funding system, established by the School Funding Reform Act of 2008.

     Justice LaVecchia led a unanimous court in writing that the Act satisfied the thorough and efficient education clause of the state constitution.
     The decision came nearly 20 years after Abbott v. Burke, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state school funding system was unconstitutional because it did not meet the needs of disadvantaged student, whom the court ruled needs additional resources to achieve.
     Since 1997, the state has been using the affluent schools as a baseline and providing additional funding to the so-called Abbott districts.
     In this case, the court granted the state’s request for a declaration that it had met the constitutional requirements and could discontinue the parity funding to the Abbott districts.
“(The Act) is constitutional and may be applied in Abbott districts subject to the state continuing to provide school funding aid during this and the next two years at the level required by the SFRA’s formula,” LaVecchia wrote.

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