I sat down with Cablevision’s @DebbieDuHaime for a look at the state’s juvenile justice system and legislation aimed at encouraging rehabilitation, the Supreme Court’s pension ruling and teacher layoffs in Paterson.
(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly (Both D- Bergen and Passaic) on Thursday said Governor’s budget line item veto of additional Paterson school state aid comes as no surprise:
“The veto is disappointing, but I’m not surprised by the Governor’s action,” said Sumter, who is Assembly Majority Conference Leader. “It’s very clear today that funding education is not as critically important to this administration as it is to many in New Jersey. More now than ever, we will continue the fight in Trenton to relieve taxpayer burdens and improve education for all students.”
“The Governor had an opportunity to set right wrongs done to our education system, instead he fumbled,” said Wimberly. “It is not possible to improve education without the sufficient aid to do so. Nearly 300 Paterson teachers and teachers’ aides either have been laid off or are facing lay-offs this year. How does a state controlled school district get out from under the thumb of state government without proper resources and funding? Simple answer, they can’t.”
June 26, 2015
(Paterson, NJ) – Assembly Majority Conference Leader Shavonda E. Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s Affordable Healthcare Act ruling:
“The decision to uphold the Affordable Healthcare Act is a vote for the people. Healthcare is not a privilege for only a few but for all Americans.
“There are over 200,000 New Jersey families that rely on the Affordable Healthcare Act and its subsidies whom would otherwise be unable to afford the rising costs of health insurance. There are over 10 million Americans that benefit from this ruling. This a good day for America and a sign that we as a country are making strides toward sustaining affordable healthcare.”
June 9, 2015
(Paterson, NJ) – Assembly Majority Conference Leader Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following statement regarding the court’s pension ruling:
“It is unfortunate that the trust of New Jersey’s hardworking public workers continues to be shattered by the perpetual avoidance of this administration to fulfill its promise to fully fund the pension system.
“Democrats have worked hard to meet pension requirements set forth under the law. We will continue to do what is right by New Jersey’s public workers, taxpayers and the state’s economic future.
“We cannot afford any further dawdling on pension payments. In the coming months I hope to see a real effort on behalf of the Governor to meet the pensions requirements fully.”
May 19, 2015
(PATERSON) – Assembly Majority Conference Leader Shavonda E. Sumter (D- Bergen, Passaic) released the following statement on the recent announcement of a reduction in force within the Paterson Public School District:
“The Paterson Public School District’s cost saving strategy to reduce direct classroom support for students with emotional and behavioral needs is quite troubling and raises a number of concerns for our teachers, children and communities.
“A commitment was made by the district only a few years ago to stop sending our students with special needs to other communities for their education and to provide those essential educational services and support staff here in Paterson, in schools within their communities.
“It is alarming to me when the mandate to ensure a thorough and efficient education is continuously being usurped with fuzzy mathematical business tactics.
“Many cities across New Jersey are facing a budget crisis. However, we must not make decisions that ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ and erase the progress we have made in Paterson over the years.
“Reducing millions spent on consultants and contracts with no measurable outcomes or end dates, frees up those dollars to be used to directly support classrooms. When we continue to eliminate direct services, we make a significant impact on measurable outcomes that matter the most, such as graduation rates.”