I agree with Acting Commissioner Cerf on education funding, it’s not just about the money. 

After that, we part company.

For me the question is: how do we get all our children to graduation with skills to make a good life for themselves and contribute to our communities. Our children need schools that fan the flames of their imaginations and call on them to be contributors to bettering their world. Our children require schools which are stable with educators and resources to nuture their growth. They need a community of parents and neighbors who support, monitor and advocate for their well-being.

This newest attack on our children’s future is grounded in the conviction that we spend too much money on education for other people’s children. When the Acting Commissioner accuses us of focussing on the wrong thing, “money,” he is equally guilty of the same focus. He insists that we can educate better for less.  If that is so, please explain to me why quality private education costs $20,000 plus a year in tuition.

During the legislative hearings that produced the SFRA law, experts testified that it costs twice as much to educate poor, disadvantaged children to graduation; it costs three times as much to educate special needs children to graduation. The outcome we want, graduation so students become productive adults, take resources. It takes resources that will be present across the length of a student’s educational career.

This newest attack on our children is infuriating. Fortunately, it requires legislative action. See you in Trenton, soon.  In the mean time, call your legislators.