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commented 2014-02-25 13:53:34 -0500
This information is from one of our BOE members. I would love to see this issue of uneven state aid distribution be addressed. -

As you may have already heard, the South Orange-Maplewood schools are facing yet another multimillion dollar deficit for 2014-15. Even if we increase taxes by 2%, the school district is still going to have to a $2.8-3 million deficit in an operating budget of $114 million. Although this is not the biggest deficit the district has had, closing this deficit could be the most painful yet, since it’s coming after so many years of cuts. At this point it is very difficult not to make cuts to programs with real popularity and real educational merit.

The causes of the deficit are mostly things beyond local or state control, such as soaring health care costs and soaring Out of District Tuition (which itself is related to healthcare costs), but one maddening component of the deficit is how little education aid we get from the state. Out of out $114 million budget, only $4.1 million – just 3.6% – comes from the state, despite the fact that 20% of SOMSD students qualify for Free & Reduced lunch. The $4.1 million works out to only $593 per student. The $4.1 million is less money than we got in 1997-98.

What is especially galling about how little state aid we get is that the sacrifices aren’t shared statewide. Exurban and rural districts get 2-6 times more aid per student than their economic peers in the suburbs. Certain cities that have gentrified also are funded at levels totally out of proportion to their needs.


The funding numbers speak for themselves. The following examples are exurban towns that not only get far more money than South Orange-Maplewood, they get more aid than whole clusters of demographically similar (or even lower-resource) towns that educate many times as many students. These examples are random, yet representative.

- Hamilton Township (DFG FG, 11,000 students) in Mercer county gets $73 million in state aid. Clark, Bergenfield, Dumont, Fort Lee, Hasbrouck Heights, Maywood, New Milford, Northvale, Rochelle Park, Wood Ridge, Nutley (all DFG FG, 24,000 students) get $27.5 million.

- Marlboro gets (DFG I, 5200 students) gets $11.5 million in state aid. Berkeley Heights, Springfield, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Cranford, Mountainside, and Westfield (DFG FG-I, 21,000 students) get $10.8 million.

- Hillsborough (DFG I, 7,200 students) gets $24.9 million. South Orange-Maplewood, West Orange, and Edison (DFG GH-I 28,000 students)get $26.8 million.

- West Windsor-Plainsboro (DFG J, 9800 students) gets $7.3 million. Livingston, Glen Ridge, Verona, Oakland, and Summit (all DFG I, 18,700 students) only get $7.1 million.

Exurban districts even get double the per student funding of districts that are 2-3 Factor Groups below them.

- Old Bridge (DFG FG, 9,000 students) gets $44.5 million. Clifton and Bloomfield (DFG CD and DE, 18,000 students) get $46.7 million. Aid per student for these districts is $5,013 for Old Bridge and $2,262 and $3,286, respectively, for Clifton and Bloomfield, even though Clifton and Bloomfield’s financial resources are smaller.

Although the following example is not typical, it exemplifies how the amount of aid a district receives does not keep up with its changes in wealth.

-Hoboken has $11.1 billion in property valuation, so $4.17 million in valuation per student. This is over double the per student valuation per student of wealthy towns like Millburn have, double the per student valuation of big retail towns like Paramus, and nearly five times the per student valuation of South Orange-Maplewood. Hoboken’s per capita income is also nearly $70,000 a year, which is about the same as Summit’s.
Despite having extremely high property wealth and income, Hoboken gets $10,712,191 in K-12 aid, or $4,120 per student (plus$9.7 million for “free” pre-K).
commented 2013-08-15 15:10:37 -0400
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Abina Boesjes
commented 2013-05-22 13:59:58 -0400
Dear Assemblyman McKeon, Thank you for voting YES for Patrick’s Law and tougher penalties for dog fighting. I am disappointed that you voted yes to kill 1000 beavers by cruel means of trapping and drowning.
commented 2013-03-14 11:51:09 -0400

yesterday on march 13 when i was at short hills mall, i found a sticker on my drivers car window advertising Lexus of Rout 10, 888-237-1807. this sticker caused a blind spot, forcing me to remove the advertisement. i contacted the dealership and they had no interest in my concerns about safety, accidents, obstruction of view etc.. i am not sure but believe that this type of advertisement is illegal, the dealership has stated that they are doing this in parking lots, schools all over the area. i appreciate your help in trying to stop before it causes accidents and needless garbage.

thank you
commented 2012-08-16 16:10:50 -0400

Have meet you several times when I was a member of the Maplewood Democratic Committee.

SO glad to see you speaking out about voter suppression laws.

What can I do as a citizen?

This is tremendously disturbing, reprehensible activity.

Can you debrief me on what action Joe Voter can take?

-Drew Dix
commented 2012-07-02 21:43:12 -0400
Please support Governor Christie’s across the board income tax cut. It really is not fair that you are proposing a property tax cut for only those that own property. What about those people that do not have the means to own their own home? Is it your position that they should not get tax relief?

The income tax cut across the board is what works for everybody. Please stop stonewalling and help us out.

Thank you.
commented 2012-07-02 21:42:49 -0400
Please support Governor Christie’s across the board income tax cut. It really is not fair that you are proposing a property tax cut for only those that own property. What about those people that do not have the means to own their own home? Is it your position that they should not get tax relief?

The income tax cut across the board is what works for everybody. Please stop stonewalling and help us out.

Thank you.
commented 2012-05-15 17:25:52 -0400
Dear John,

I trust you are in support of protecting the environment in New Jersey and urge you to prioritize the passage of SCR59 and ACR37 before the summer legislative break.

As you know, these resolutions would block the dangerous DEP Waiver Rule, which jeopardizes New Jersey’s environment and public health and safety by letting developers and polluters off the hook. We cannot allow critical environmental protections to be rolled back for economic interests.

Best regards,

Ron Weston
commented 2012-02-17 08:02:55 -0500
Hello John, my name is John McKeon from Ireland. I am the CEO of a company called Allergy Standards Ltd. I will be in the US over the St Patrick’s day celebrations and was interested if you would like to meet up. Please let me know and I can send a bit more information. Kind regards, John
commented 2011-10-28 16:10:42 -0400
I just sent the following message to Senator Codey and thought you should know:

I live in Hanover Twp (District 26) – a Republican town. However, come January we will become part of District 27. If you would like to drop off lawn placards for you, John McKeon, Mila Jasey, Truscha Quatrone and Richard Dunne, I’ll be happy to display them on my lawn (3 houses from the voting station of Mountview Road school).
commented 2011-10-17 18:44:26 -0400
I applaud your efforts and agree with most of your views; However, I have a hard time figuring out why you are soliciting your re-election in a townhouse development that says NO SOLICITING. How are we suppose to teach our children, when our own leaders don’t follow the rules. I hate to be cynic, but politicians only come around when they want something… I would like to see one come around and talk to the people when there is no election.
commented 2011-10-05 21:17:45 -0400
Please use email I do not Text

We support John McKeon and all the good work he has accoplised in Essex County
commented 2011-09-12 11:51:27 -0400
published this page 2011-06-10 17:20:07 -0400
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Assemblyman John F. McKeon
27th Legislative District
250 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940
Phone: (973) 377-1606
Fax: (973) 377-0391

Paid for by the Election Fund of John F. McKeon for State Assembly. Tim King, Treasurer

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