This is a result of the meeting after public school officials approved a resolution to sue the Department of Education for the cash owed.
The reasons are strong and reasonable!
Officials representing the borough's school district calculated the funds due to the school funding formula and discovered that they are still one of the most underfunded in New Jersey, say the state owes it millions of dollars this year alone.
"This is the start of the process, but one that's been years in the making," said Joseph Howe, the school's business administrator. "The board feels at this point that they have no other choice but to bring this action, absent a solid plan from the administration, from the Legislature, to remedy the under-adequacy of the district."
Apparently the problem is in the formula
Since the beginning of the year, school officials made public appeals for additional state aid this budget season, including a news conference Monday morning in Trenton. On that public appeal the Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington testified before the Assembly Budget Committee.
When grilled by legislators over underfunded districts, Harrington acknowledged that school funding remains a problem but said the problem lies with the formula. She referred to Gov. Chris Christie's budget address in February. That budget and the governor challenged lawmakers to come up with a new school funding formula within 100 days.
Compliant will follow
David Saenz, a spokesman for the state Department of Education, said "the agency could not comment because he was "not aware of this particular resolution from the Freehold Borough School Board and we have not received any formal documents regarding it."
Bruce Padula and Micci Weiss from the law firm Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs will represent the district and they will file a complaint to the state Superior Court over the next couple of weeks.
They are not alone
Freehold isn't the first underfunded district to take its school funding battle to the courts. The Kingsway Regional School District in Woolwich filed a petition earlier this year to reopen the landmark Abbott v. Burke education case shortly after Christie's motion to reopen the case was denied. Kingway's petition also was denied, but the district pledged in a statement to fight for more school funding in the trial courts.
Monroe's public schools may consider pursuing litigation, but officials have not decided how to proceed.
Thoughts? Should this appeal stand, are the Freehold schools the only one that are underfunded?
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