At a recent hearing on the proposed budget for New Jersey's Department of Education, Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (who represents Cumberland,Gloucester and Salem Counties) spoke out in favor of school district consolidation to lower the taxes of New Jersey families.
Burzichelli, who is vice-chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, issued the following statement:
"In a state with more than 600 public school districts and the highest property taxes in the nation, it's clear that this administration needs to be far more proactive about the process of regionalizing and consolidating school districts.
"The administration (of Gov.Chris Christie) knows full well that the law requires executive country superintendents to plan for consolidation in the interest of lowering property taxes. Evidently, its repeated verbal commitment to reaching this goal has failed to align with the reality in our state, even though a realistic means of achieving it was signed into law eight years ago, with plans from the counties due five years ago.
"One in four school districts in New Jersey serves fewer than 500 students. These young men and women certainly could receive the same quality education at less of a cost to their parents — to the tune of millions in savings — if they attended school in larger districts.
"The law has laid the foundation for the state to ease the long-term tax burden on New Jersey families, and it's high time for the administration to enforce it on their behalf."