NJEA Officially Takes a Neutral Position on the Budget

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) released a position paper about the NJ 2020 budget, set to be voted on by the NJ legislature. NJEA took a neutral position on the proposed budget and did not reiterate its case for the millionaire’s tax.

The New Jersey Education Association’s (NJEA) position paper on the budget released today contains no urgent doubling down on a case for the millionaire’s tax.

The powerful labor organization takes a neutral stand on the budget bill, set for a vote in the legislature this afternoon.

Regarding the bill that appropriates $38,748,610,000 in State funds and $16,748,645,972 in federal funds for the State budget for fiscal year 2019-2020:

“NJEA is neutral on S-2020 (Sarlo)/A-5600 (Pintor Marin, Burzichelli), the FY 2020 budget bill, which appropriates a total of $38.7 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. While we appreciate the legislature’s efforts to craft a budget that is fair to all New Jerseyans, and we are pleased to see an overall increase in education funding, we have some issues of concern.”

The position paper (printed in full, below) comes two days after NJEA President Marie Blistan appeared alongside Governor Phi Murphy as he made a vociferous case against a state budget that does not contain a millionaire’s tax.




Appropriates $38,748,610,000 in State funds and $16,748,645,972 in federal funds for the State budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. 


NJEA is neutral on S-2020 (Sarlo)/A-5600 (Pintor Marin, Burzichelli), the FY 2020 budget bill, which appropriates a total of $38.7 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.  While we appreciate the legislature’s efforts to craft a budget that is fair to all New Jerseyans, and we are pleased to see an overall increase in education funding, we have some issues of concern. 


  • The budget includes a significant payment to TPAFanother step toward fulfilling commitments made to hard-working public school employees. The bill also includes funding to support post-retirement medical benefits for retirees who qualify. 
  • The budget bill increases extraordinary special education aid, which will help our schools meet costs of special education. 
  • NJEA has been engaged in school funding discussions and has remained firm in its belief that taking aid from one district to give another is not a solution to the State’s underfunding problem.  We are concerned that the legislature’s cap of $20 million on emergency aid might not be sufficient to help those districts whose aid was cut and the legislature might need to increase this amount.  In addition, the budget removes extra aid for Lakewood’s unique circumstances. 
  • We are concerned that the budget bill seems to allocate $250,000 from the High Poverty School District Minority Teacher Recruitment Program to a specific organization, rather than allowing the Department of Education to allocate the funds as part of its grant program. 
  • NJEA questions why funds for the Community College Opportunity Grant were reduced by $28.5 million, especially since more students will be eligible for the program with the higher cap on income.  This will potentially deny students the opportunity to attend a two-year college and improve their earnings potential through higher education. 

A strong investment in public education is an investment in our future. Our public schools and colleges are among the very best in the nation.  However, to continue that excellence, we need to fully fund K-16 public education and ensure that the State keeps the promises it made to its education employees, the people who make our education system strong.  

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  • 1Prop

    Too bad, Phil! Not even the NJEA wants your crumbs.

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