On January 5th, the NJ Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 [SFRA]. I hope that  you will plan to join us in Trenton at the hearing to represent our children and our community. There is so much at stake for them and for us. We can’t testify at the proceedings, it’s true. But our presence will show our concern and commitment to improving our children’s educational opportunity. In my faith tradition, it’s called the ministry of presence.

We can’t take signs into the court builidng, so I will make a necklace with my granddaughter’s picture on it. She’s just started preschool as a three year old. Her future is tied to the outcome of the decision the justices make about the SFRA.

Will she get extra help if she needs it? Will her classmates be given support for learning English? Will she be exposed to art and music? Will she be able to sing in a choir at school? Will she get to go on field trips with her classmates? Will her teacher have the resources to do experiments in the classroom?

Or will she be forced spend her time preparing for tests? Will she be taught to memorize and follow instructions? Or will she be taught to think independently and solve problems?

Will we uphold the tradition of public responsibility for educating our children? Or will we descend to the survival of the fittest?

I’ve lived my life in an increasingly interesting and diverse world, full of opportunity and hope. I want the same opportunity for my granddaughter and all the children. That’s why I’m going to Trenton on January 5th.

Will I see you there?

BTW, PEF is organizing a van [or bus if enough folks want to go]. Let us know.

Yours for our children’s future,

Irene