Assemblymen Amodeo and Polistina called today?s ruling by a Superior Court judge that the State needs to increase spending for Abbott districts by $1.6 billion as ?out of touch with reality and little more than a massive court-ordered tax hike.?
?Honestly, I am almost at a loss for words,? Amodeo said. ?Judge Doyne?s rationale for forcing the taxpayers to fork over nearly two billion dollars is ridiculous.?
Judge Peter Doyne, appointed by the State Supreme Court to serve as the special master in the Abbott v. Burke court case, wrote in his decision, “Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our ‘at risk’ children are now moving further from proficiency.?
?That is the most twisted lawyer logic I have ever heard,? Polistina said. ?The judge wants the state to spend billions more even after he admits with years of record spending there has been no improvement on student performance. But then his solution is to spend more. Is he serious??
The assemblymen also took issue with the judge?s indifference to the fiscal realities of the state.
Judge Doyne wrote: “The difficulty in addressing New Jersey’s fiscal crisis and its constitutionally mandated obligation to educate our children requires an exquisite balance not easily attained. Something needs be done to equitably address these competing imperatives. That answer, though, is beyond the purview of this report.?
?Where does he think the additional money is going to come from?? Amodeo said. ?How can he say taxpayers are tapped out and then order them to pay $1.6 billion more? Even better, when it comes to answering the question of how the state should pay for it, he conveniently says, ?Not my problem.??
?Judge Doyne and urban school districts share one thing in common ? a complete lack of accountability,? Polistina said. ?He has no accountability to taxpayers and the schools have no accountability to the children they are supposed to be educating.?
?We are tired of judges ordering money thrown at Abbott districts and then reading about these districts spending that money on junkets to Florida with stays at posh hotels, custom engraved brass apples for teachers, celebrity brand high top sneakers for students, and dinners at Hooter?s. Enough is enough,? Polistina said.