New Jersey Students Protest Education Funding Cuts

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Tuesday, an estimated 400 high school students in Newark, N.J., staged a walkout to protest education cuts to the city’s budget, the Associated Press reports.

Members of the Newark Student Union convened at Rutgers Law School, the site of an all-day state Assembly committee hearing on Gov. Chris Christie's education budget.

According to protesters, a $56 million cut to the city education budget disproportionately affects students in urban schools, which are under state control. Demonstrators argued that Gov. Christie’s $32.9 billion budget does not meet the funding requirements of New Jersey’s school aid formula. If the funding formula requirements are not met, Newark schools stand to lose $51 million in state aid.

Pre-K and higher education representatives said the funding cuts also impact them. Rutgers University's Newark campus is receiving inadequate aid, according to many of the schools faculty and staff. Similarly, representatives from Advocates for Children of New Jersey said the new budget keeps more than 30,000 young children from enrolling in preschool services.

Christie and state lawmakers must agree on a budget by July 1.