Letters to the Editor

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					Cap will stifle future business leadership                                                                                                                                 Poll Results
                                                                                                                                                                          The 2 percent property-tax cap:
IF you ArE short on cash, you can save $30 by          ine such short-sighted thinking taking over in
                                                                                                                      Corner              Office                                             4.6%
putting off the oil change on your car, but do it      a state that has such concrete evidence of the
for very long and it’s liable to end up being the      value of that investment, but troubling signs           Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey
most expensive $30 you ever saved — ask anyone         are emerging.                                             business issue? If you are a business or                         13.6%
who’s ever been to a                                        last year, Christie slashed $475 million            policy leader with a strong opinion, we
mechanic to have an                                    in education funding in the middle of the               want to hear from you. Please send op-ed
engine rebuilt.                                        school year, forcing districts to empty surplus             proposals to editorial@njbiz.com.
      only a fool                                      accounts that would have been used to cover                                                                                                 81.8%
would take that                                        future expenses or provide property tax relief.             the New Jersey Education Association
chance with a car,                                     this year’s budget goes even further, slashing        has raised the alarm against these ill-advised
yet gov. Chris Chris-                                  funding by nearly another $1 billion, leaving         and shortsighted attempts to save money by
tie seems intent on                                    dozens of districts with no state aid at all and      shortchanging our schools. we have an inter-
                                                                                                                                                                              Includes too many exemptions to be effective
taking an even cost-                                   nearly every district with deep budget holes          est in this fight because of our commitment
                                                                                                                                                                              Is a fair compromise between the parties
lier chance with our                                   to plug.                                              to ensuring that every child in New Jersey has
                                                                                                                                                                              Is too low and will hurt the state in the long run
public schools.             Barbara Keshishian              Now, with no prospect of improvement in          access to a great public school.
                                                                                                                       click n graph tool,
      New Jersey’s                                     state education funding, Christie and legisla-              But we are not the only ones whose inter-
                                                                                                                       make circle 2.125”
public schools are among the finest in the             tors have imposed a restrictive new 2 percent         ests are at stake in this debate. taxpayers who
nation. our students score at or near the top
of national exams in every subject and at every
                                                       cap on local funding for schools. the new cap
                                                       is well below the 3 percent rate of inflation our
                                                                                                             care about the educational opportunities avail-
                                                                                                             able to their children also have an interest in
                                                                                                                                                                      Readers disappointed
grade level. our preschools are the envy of other
states, and our graduates are rated among the
                                                       region has experienced over the last decade. It
                                                       contains no exceptions for rising costs in many
                                                                                                             what happens to our public schools. Business
                                                                                                             owners who care about the quality of the work
                                                                                                                                                                      with ‘weak’ compromise
best prepared for college. we lead the nation          areas, including special education, energy or         force that will be available in five, 10 and 20          By a staggering majority, the more than
in closing the achievement gap that has long           supplies. If inflation spikes, as some expect         years have a stake, as well. As New Jersey               1,500 responders to the most recent poll felt
bedeviled America’s education system.                  will happen in this unpredictable economy,            emerges from the economic downturn and                   the property-tax cap compromise was a bad
      that is the result of years of consistent        the cap contains no provision for schools to          strives to regain its position as a leader, we are       deal for new Jersey, with more than 80 per-
investment in public education. Because of             adjust their budgets adequately to deal with          going to need talented, educated people. the             cent saying its many exemptions will cripple
that investment, New Jersey has a well-educat-         that circumstance.                                    decisions we make about investing in educa-              its use.
ed, well-trained work force that serves as a real           the only option left is to slash budgets         tion today will determine if those workers are                 “the exemptions are a joke,” wrote
draw to businesses that recognize the value of         even further. schools will be forced to lay off       available tomorrow.                                      Dino Spadaccini, of Spadaccini Main LLC.
human capital. Even in the middle of a national        more teachers and support staff. they will be               In New Jersey, the public education “check         “they are all the line items that put us in the
recession, New Jersey is positioned to emerge          forced to close more programs and activities,         engine” light is on. the only question is, are we        situation we are in.” that sentiment summed
even stronger as the economy picks up and              and parents can expect higher fees for sports         going to ignore that warning today, only to pay          up the thoughts of many of his colleagues.
businesses again start looking for the best and        and activities that somehow survive the bud-          dearly for it in the future? u                                 reader Hugh Devine, meanwhile, said
brightest employees.                                   get ax. worse yet, that process will be repeated      ------------------------------------------------------   any exemption was a mistake. “as long as
      unless, of course, we decide to pull the         every year the cap remains in place and the           Barbara Keshishian is president of the New Jer-          there is any exemption, we won’t ever see
plug on the whole enterprise. It is hard to imag-      state fails to fund its schools.                      sey Education Association.                               a 2 percent increase,” he wrote. “the politi-
                                                                                                                                                                      cians will always find a way to fit an increase
                                                                                                                                                                      above 2 percent into an exemption.”
                                                                                                                                                                            reader Max Delaunay also preferred
Lower our taxes now                                    effective answers. that’s a significant long-term
                                                                                                                Letters to the Editor                                 the hard cap originally proposed by gov.
                                                       commitment from government and the people,
                                                                                                                                             
				
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