An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (NJ only)

Fully Fund our Schools - Do Not Penalize Districts for Pandemic Enrollment

123 so far! Let’s get to 250 signers!

I am writing to you with an urgent request. As the Governor prepares to make his budget address on February 23, it is essential that our elected officials act in good faith and do not reduce funding to districts who have experienced temporarily declining enrollment as a direct result of the pandemic. Due to the constantly evolving situation over the past year, many families have had to make urgent and difficult decisions with regard to schooling, whether that be staying in the public school system, home-schooling/cyber-schooling, or temporarily switching to a private option. Once things return to “normal” (hopefully for the 2021 school year), many of these students will return to the schools they were enrolled in before the pandemic. Thus, in these extraordinary times, it is only fair that next year’s enrollment-based funding be based on pre-pandemic enrollment numbers, with the expectation of these returning students. These students cannot return to underfunded districts, right at the moment when more resources than ever will be needed to address learning gaps and mental health concerns. This is also why it is critical now, more than ever, that the state commit to fully fund the School Funding Reform Act. I look forward to you standing with your constituents - the families of New Jersey - to fully fund our schools, and not penalize districts for students who have temporarily withdrawn due to the unusual, extraordinary, and likely short-term decisions made by families based on what is best for them during a once in a lifetime crisis. Thank you for your support in this urgent matter.

First sent on February 18 by Kristyn

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