Opinion: Sweeney-Prieto School Aid Plan Could Defuse Campaign Issue

If Gov. Chris Christie accepts the compromise plan developed by the Legislature’s Democratic leadership to revise the formula for state aid to local school districts and increase it by $125 million, it will not only remove it from the agenda for the remainder of this year but — more importantly — will seriously diminish its impact as a dominant issue in the gubernatorial campaign.

Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Democratic nominee Phil Murphy hold starkly divergent views on the level of aid and how it should be allocated, but if Christie buys into the Democrats’ proposal, any far-reaching, dramatic changes in the formula will be delayed until 2018.

While both Guadagno and Murphy will continue to tout their ideas, the compromise reached by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) will be seen as settling the matter for at least a year, awaiting a new governor and Legislature.

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