Why organize? The School Reform We Need:
- Adequate school funding for ALL our children
- Adequate school facilities
- Support programs for children who come to school with disadvantages
“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
– Frederick Douglass, 1857
The landmark 1998 Abbott V decision directed the state of New Jersey to provide those requirements. But a series of Governors and Legislators has whittled away the intent of the law. Under the new School Funding Reform Act of 2008, Paterson faces flat or declining state funding with no local tax base to make up the needed difference. NJ has built only 3 of the 14 new schools that Paterson needs. And less money available for tutoring, summer programs, health supports and other supplemental programs to help overcome disadvantage.
It’s not OK.
So we have joined other advocacy and organizing groups around the state including those based in Newark, Jersey City and Paterson to organize around these issues. PEF works with Parent Education Organizing Council of Paterson, Our Children/Our Schools, Save Our Schools NJ, Abbott Leadership Institute, NJ Together [IAF], Paterson Area Congregations Together, and the Education Law Center,
We are working on local campaigns within our cities as well as campaigning on our state issues.
How You Can Help
- Join the Parent Education Organizing Council for Paterson. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get information about Paterson meetings and actions.
- Be an ally. Take action. Share your concerns with Governor Murphy, our state legislators or the newspaper.
- Become a member of Save Our Schools New Jersey and stay alert.
For the history of the Abbott legislation, go to www.edlawcenter.org.