Corzine Looks to Recycle Failure
Corzine's plan, according to the sources, is to assign Doria immediately to shepherd one of his top priorities: revamping New Jersey's much-criticized school-funding formula.If you were looking to find someone to create an equitable state funding formula for New Jersey’s public schools, would you seriously consider the double dipping mayor of Bayonne and state senator, Joseph Doria (D-Hudson)?
As Assembly speaker during Gov. Jim Florio's administration, Doria sponsored and helped pass in 1990 the Quality Education Act, Florio's controversial overhaul of the school funding formula. It used money generated by a hike in the state income tax to increase state spending on schools, with a large portion directed to the poorest urban districts.The results of Doria’s handiwork? The highest property taxes in the nation, $13 billion in state income taxes and a public school funding formula that has lavished state aid on the 31 Abbott school districts with absolutely nothing but a bankrupt state to show for it.
The New York Times just published per student spending for the 2004-2005 school year. The figures are actually two years old, but it’ll give you an idea of how out of whack Abbott school spending has become. Asbury Park was spending $23,572 per student, Hoboken $22,221 and Newark $20,482, just to cite the top three Abbott school districts. That compares to an average of $11,300 per pupil in the wealthy school districts and a state average, not including the Abbotts, of $11,056 per student. It’s been two years, so naturally current spending is much higher.
Hasn’t Joe Doria already done enough?
Doria began his political career on the Bayonne Board of Education in the 1970s. A fixture in Trenton for nearly three decades, Doria racked up 12 terms in the Assembly, including a stint as chairman of the education committee. He was ousted from his Assembly seat in 2004, but returned to Legislature in 2005 as a senator after the unexpected death of Sen. Glenn Cunningham. In March, Doria announced he would not stand for re-election.Is there so little talent or new thinking in New Jersey’s Democratic Party that they have to keep recycling the same failed polices and politicians ad nauseum?
Doria has been mayor of Bayonne since 1998 and has nearly three years left in his current term, his third.