Jersey City school board sues state to halt drastic cuts in aid

Standing outside President Basrak Obama School, local school officials joined by labor leaders announced a lawsuit to regain state aid.
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Standing outside President Basrak Obama School, local school officials joined by labor leaders announced a lawsuit to regain state aid.

Fulfilling a threat made earlier this year, the Jersey City Board of Education has filed suit in Superior Court claiming state aid cuts violate a number of state Supreme Court rules.

The suit has asked the courts to immediately halt cuts that amount to more than $200 million over the next five years, and to make up for shortfalls in aid that have been ongoing since 2009 when Gov. Christopher Christie took office.

Faced with a budget gap of more than $100 million in the upcoming school year, the Board of Education has plans to lay off more than 415 employees. This could result in a sharp increase in class sizes throughout the school district, said Board President Sudhan Thomas.

“The Jersey City Board of Education will be forced to lay off 415 instructional and support staff to balance its budget,” said Angelo J. Genova, lead attorney for the district.

For updates on this and other stories check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Al Sullivan can be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com