Phil Murphy Cut $4 Million From Public School Choice Program But Had $4 Million For Illegal Alien College Students

Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy

There’s been a bit of news about the Garden State coughing up nearly $4 million in college aid for “immigrants living in the country illegally” to “more than 700 undocumented students” this week.

What everyone seems to be missing is that coincidentally roughly $4 million was cut from New Jersey’s Interdistrict Public School Choice Program by Governor Phil Murphy.

According to the State’s own websiteNew Jersey's Interdistrict Public School Choice Program enables approved choice districts to enroll K-12th grade students who do not reside within their districts without cost to their parents. The program increases educational opportunities for students and their families by providing students with school options outside of their district of residence and giving parents the power to select a school program that best serves their child's individual needs.”

That’s right, Murphy cut $4 million from a program designed to “increase educational opportunities for students and their families” while making sure more than 700 students living in the country illegally could go to college.

According to sources close to the $4 million cut here’s how it went down: In fiscal year 2019 there was approximately $60 million appropriated to the choice program. In Murphy’s proposed fiscal year 2020 budget he reduced the appropriation to $56 million. The legislature increased the amount back to the fiscal year 2019 level by adding $4 million in the budget they sent to the Governor. Murphy line item vetoed the $4 million out.

If you doubt my sources reported the $4 million cut back in June. From the Politico article:

He’s also cutting $4 million lawmakers added to support school choice, under the belief that the total was incorrectly calculated; a $1 million for East Orange General Hospital, because the state is providing support through a separate appropriations; and $500,000 for Rutgers Camden to conduct a study in collaboration with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.

I’m wondering how providing $4 million for illegal aliens to go to college while cutting $4 million from the public school choice program makes New Jersey “stronger and fairer.” Perhaps Governor Murphy will explain it someday. Until then, we’ll keep watching.