"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Jersey Admits Abbott School Funding Has Been A Failure

Standing before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Attorney General Zulima Farber admitted that the state has failed to properly oversee billions of dollars spent on court-ordered school reforms. She acknowledged that the Abbott school districts now spend more then the so called ‘wealthiest districts’ and that the spending has not produced results.

"As I stand here today, I cannot deny the state neglected its responsibility to provide sufficient fiscal oversight," she told the court in her opening argument. "With that neglect, we have gotten far from the original intent of Abbott."
We have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that the 31 Abbott schools districts have long since achieved funding parity and now spend 30 to 35% percent more per student than even the 'wealthiest districts’. It’s good to hear the state finally admit it.

The criteria set for Abbotts was that they be funded to achieve parity with the state's wealthiest districts. A brief filed by acting Education Commissioner Lucille Davy shows the Abbotts are already getting $500 million in aid above the parity level.
The Education Law Center, the group behind the series of Abbott lawsuits, is again suing the state, this time for $550 million in additional funding for the districts. The state has proposed a smaller increase for next year and argues the billions poured into the Abbott schools have not produced improvements in educational performance. This is another fact we have repeatedly documented on this blog and are happy to hear Acting Department of Education Commissioner Lucille Davy acknowledge it in court.
I'm concerned that we're spending $18,000 a kid in Asbury Park, for example, and their results are near the bottom in almost any measure.

"We need to figure out why we are not getting the outcomes," she said. "It's clearly not a matter of resources."
This thirty year Abbott experiment has produced no results, beyond nearly bankrupting the state and producing the highest property taxes in the nation. The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Abbott school funding decisions have been a disaster for everyone. Let’s hope the unelected robed ones will finally admit their mistake and tell the Education Law Center ‘enough is enough’. Better thrity years late than never.


At 6:00 AM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

Step one is acknowledging the problem. We can only wonder if and when a step two will follow.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Step two: "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." This has already happened, but unfortunately the schools still believe that the higher power is the state. I believe the higher power is the market.

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous njcons said...

The wrath of the taxpayers is growing and the Pols can feel it. First the schools and then the pensions.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NJ Abbott experiment has got to stop immediately. Stop enabling failure!

In 1985 the “NJ Supreme Court issues Abbott I, remanding case to Office of Administrative Law and ruling that to satisfy the Constitution, the State must assure urban children an education enabling them to compete with their suburban peers.” 1
The only enabling “Abbott” has achieved is failure!

These districts haven’t earned and worked for what has been wasted for thirty plus years and that is why they don’t value it. Let them earn and work for their education and then maybe they’ll value it.

1 http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/AbbottvBurke/AbbottHistory.htm

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Patrick Thompson said...

So the recomendation is?

At 9:45 AM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

The reccomendation is to stop giving schools in urban municipalities handouts. The reasons these schools failed in the first place is because bureaucrats sucked the school system dry. Aimlessly throwing money at these same bureaucrats only gives them energy to suck even more.

The system has to be reformed in a way where the money does not go directly into the wrong hands. A system has to be put in place to make sure that the money goes to where it's supposed to go and be used for its sole purpose of the education of children and not into the hands of the greasy thug teachers's unions and machine politicians to keep kids stupid so they have a better chance of becoming liberal socialists.

Remember, the more ignorance you spread, the more crooked politicians thrive. How else do you explain West New York Mayor Albio Sires being the heir to Bob Menendez's congressional throne when Monmouth Polling Institute ranked his town 506th out of all 566 municipalities? Then again, what do you expect from a Mayor runs a town with a population of 46,000 and has a police force with 126 officers?

Corrupt machine politics is a cancer that destroys everything it touches and education, whether it be in Urban, Suburban or Rural areas is no exception.

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Patrick Thompson said...

This sort of overt hostility toward urban, inner city children smacks of racism and miopic partisianship. Cloaking it in the veil of "stupid liberal"-creation is offensive to all.

Do we need far more citical state oversight of spending in Abott districts, combined with management of success-metrics to ensure execution and results? Absolutely.

But this saber-rattling us and against them - liberal vs. conservaive, middle-class vs. the poor - demogogery serves only to widen divides. We don't need division at this critical time on this critical issue. We need to be working together with open-minds to chart are better path for our future.

Do we really want to cut aid to urban and inner-city school districts? Can we not see clearly the potential dire consequences of such impetuous actions?

Again - just because these children don't look like ours, don't share our DNA or perhaps our color - does not change the fact that they are OUR children. The next generation of Americans. The future of our Nation along with my children and yours.

Would we prefer to have even more of our children end up wharehoused in prisons? With the highest per capita prison population on the planet - ON THE PLANET! - prison's are clearly a growth engine for our economy. But they are also enormously expensive. Expenses you and I pay everyday via our taxes. Expenses I do not hear many complain about. Clearly the costs to incarcerate prisoners is much higher than that of providing a fair education and good opportunities for our young people.

No I am not satisfied with the results of these urban districts. But let's be clear about what we are suggesting here and the ramifications.

Let's be creative, and disiplined, and responsible, and let us not accept mediocrity. But let us not be divisive, partisian, classist, nor racist in the process.

Patrick Thompson
Hightstown NJ

At 11:27 AM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

Look Councilman, if anybody has been saber rattling or being racist or classist, it is YOU and YOUR constituents in the Democratic Party on every level of government who advocate and create big government because you don't believe that minorities can make it in life without a handout.

Bill Cosby has been very vociferous on matters like these. He sees people using race and class warfare in this country as an excuse to be lazy, rely on big government and resort to crime. He became a very successful man in a very turbulent time in our nation's history.

If we are going to reform the system to help benefit minorities we need to stop babying them and insulting their intellegence. Sweeping reforms need to be made to govenment assistance programs that are being blatantly abused and that includes Abbott Funding.

To properly help people Councilman, you must first have respect for them and see them as people. Your party has gone from "The party for the little guy" to the party that keeps the little guy little. Just who exactly are you trying to fool here sir?

At 12:11 PM, Blogger telecaster said...

A good deal of the state's problems are the result of legislation that is enacted to advance social or economic policy then placed in the hands of bureaucrats that have no idea on how to administer these programs properly. We need to look at implementation and oversight of these programs from the statehouse level and follow through, then we need to clean house of some of these dead weight administrators in favor of some that actually have a clue on how to provide proper leadership.

Abbot programs that have been misppropriated simply have caused much resentment from those who devoted hard earned tax dollars only to see the fruits of their labor misused. How many times can the "less advantaged" go to the well without raising the ire of the taxpayer who does all the right things only to find their own school districts getting the short end of the opportunities they tried to provide everyone? I submit, if there is a growing racial overtone here, government mis management did much to foster it along!

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