Trenton, NJ – A bill that would use taxpayer money to send low income students to private, charter or better performing public schools statewide drew a crowd of supporters and opponents so big in Trenton that lawmakers had to move their tables outside to conduct their hearing.
“It’s an utter disgrace,” shouted one opponent, “We can’t hear anything.”
“Every student is entitled to a thorough and quality education”, remarked a Rabbi from Lakewood who came 800 strong to support school choice.
“I’ve been fighting for my children for years to get quality education” said Danielle Coleman of Newark, who found it absurd that her son was getting straight A’s in first through 5th grade but could not read.
Governor Chris Christie says School Choice scholarships will create competition and put pressure on failing schools to perform.
205 of New Jersey’s public schools are chronically failing in Camden, Trenton, and Newark.
“Where you go to school, where you have hope and ambition to learn should not be subject to how much money your parent’s make.” said Christie.
Opponents argue School Choice scholarships will further dismantle and steal much needed money from the public school system.
“Funding will be taken away from my system. We are already severely underfunded by the governor’s cuts,” said Teacer Irene Gilman of Ocean Township High School.
Families of four earning less than $55,000 annually could apply for the scholarships, the first year it would enable 2,500 to 3,800 to get School Choice programs & funding.