Posted: Jul. 23, 2017 12:01 am
NEWTON — Demonstrators rallied on the Newton Green Saturday in support of public education, saying they were showing solidarity with parents, teachers and advocates gathered for a similar march in Washington, D.C.
“Public education is a national issue, it’s a state issue and it’s a local issue. That’s why we’re out here today,” said Gina Trish, a Democratic candidate for state Assembly from the 24th District, speaking from the green.
“It is our job as a community to make sure that our public schools are properly funded and that their interests are well-protected in Trenton.”
About 30 people turned out for the Newton rally, Trish said, many of them carrying signs that read “We love our schools!” and “Honk if you love education!”
“Earlier this month, the state of New Jersey agreed to budget cuts that will be negatively affecting a lot of our public schools,” Trish said.
“We have some truly fantastic school systems in Sussex County, and we all feel that they deserve to be supported more fairly than they have been.”
Under the terms of the budget agreement, reached on July 7, 17 county school districts — including Andover Regional, Hopatcong and Vernon — will lose state funding for the upcoming school year.
Joan Jacobsen, chair of Action Together Sussex County, said that as the proud parent of a Sussex County public school graduate, she understood all too well the benefits of a strong local education.
“My daughter attended public school right here in the county,” she said. “After she graduated, she went on to get her graduate degree in neuroscience from Columbia University. Our public schools helped to lay the foundation for all that she was able to accomplish, and that’s why I’m here to let our teachers and our educators know how much we all support them.”