State Assembly Candidates Question 3: Fully Funding Schools


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Trenton takes our tax dollars and is supposed to send us a specified amount of state aid for our schools in return. But it doesn’t, and it hasn’t ever since the underfunded School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) was enacted in 2008. Verona has gotten $6 million less than it should have, which is part of the reason why our Board of Education is asking voters for $27.7 million in two referendums this November.  A bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 was supposed to fix the inequities in SFRA’s funding formula, but it hasn’t.

So asked all four candidates running for the two seats in the state Assembly’s 26th legislative district what they would do to assure that Trenton fully funds all schools. We got a response from Republican incumbent BettyLou DeCroce and Democratic challengers Christine Clarke and Verona resident Laura Fortgang. Assemblyman Jay Webber, the other Republican incumbent, once again did not respond.  He blocked on Twitter during his unsuccessful race for Congress in 2018 and has not unblocked it despite a a federal district court ruling that politicians who do so are violating the First Amendment.

QUESTION 3: How will you get Trenton to fully implement the school funding formula?

- Advertisement - is partnering on this series with, another independently owned local news site. Every Friday until October 25, we send the four candidates a question that they must respond to by noon on the following Tuesday. In week 1, we asked the candidates what they would do to provide tax relief. In week 2, we asked about affordable housing. The candidates’ responses are listed in the order in which they were received, and have not been edited in any way, whether for grammar, spelling or length.

Please click on the arrows to see all the answers.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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