Star-Ledger: Ciattarelli’s ugly plan on property taxes: Raid funds aimed at poor cities
NEWARK — Yesterday, the Star-Ledger Editorial Board published a blistering examination of Republican gubernatorial nominee Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s plan on property taxes that would drag New Jersey back to the funding failures of the Christie administration and cut education aid from school districts in Black and Brown communities.
Assemblyman Ciattarelli is promoting a failed, regressive tax policy that would slash funding from Black and Brown school districts and provide tax cuts and carveouts for the wealthy and well-connected. When pressed for specifics, Ciattarelli “offers robotic evasions” to hide from the reality that his harmful proposal for “flatter, more equitable” school funding is, in reality, a return to former governor Chris Christie’s “toxic plan.”
This sham school funding proposal fits a pattern of Ciattarelli ignoring racial inequities. Last week, Assemblyman Ciattarelli refused to define “white privilege” when asked by a caller on WNYC radio, stating “I don’t really understand the question.” Between ignoring the existence of systemic racism to catastrophic Christie-era school funding cuts, it’s evident that Ciattarelli represents a clear and present danger to New Jersey.
Read key excerpts from the article below:
Jack Ciattarelli’s plan to solve the property tax problem in New Jersey boils down to this: Divert money from the poor cities like Newark and Paterson, and send it to the suburbs instead.
It would threaten hard-won progress in New Jersey’s urban schools, deepening the state’s already enormous divides between rich and poor, between Black and white. If you doubt that, talk to an educator on the front lines about the impact of funding cuts.
Ciattarelli offers robotic evasions when you ask him about this. He says he doesn’t want to increase total state aid to schools but would divide the pie differently. He wants “fairer and flatter” funding and says he would “restore state aid to the struggling suburban, shore area, and rural schools.”
Note that he leaves only urban districts off that list. So, the math tells us that poor cities would take a hit, equal to the increases elsewhere. But Ciattarelli dances when you ask him that directly.
“I’m not going to leave any student behind,” he says.
At a time when the pandemic has underscored racial inequities across the country, Ciattarelli offers a plan that would deepen that divide here in New Jersey, in a school system that is today among the most segregated in America.
Ciattarelli appeared on Brian Lehrer’s show on WNYC radio this week and was asked by one caller how he would define “white privilege.”
“I don’t really understand the question,” Ciattarelli said, asking for an explanation.