3-26-24 Momentum

  • Dear LRHSD Community,

    Much has transpired since our last correspondence on March 1, 2024, regarding Governor Murphy’s proposed budget and the unexpected and substantial reduction in state aid of nearly $4.7 million.

    We appreciate the many parents, students, and staff who reached out to our elected officials. Many of you also contacted me directly to see what else you could do to correct this horrible injustice. It is truly remarkable to see our teenagers rise to the occasion during this endeavor and having them realize that their voices and actions are playing a critical role in the civic process. 

    We have been fervently communicating our message to those who have the power to enact change, as evidenced by our presentations at both Public Budget Hearings in the NJ Assembly and NJ Senate. Take a moment to view our Budget Advocacy video, and be sure to watch to the end to witness two LRHSD seniors who volunteered to passionately share their perspective with the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee (amazing!). We also testified at two separate hearings in front of the NJ Senate Education Committee. Members of our Board of Education had direct communication with elected officials and also attended meetings with school officials from dozens of other negatively affected districts. 

    Your emails to elected officials are working…keep it going! 

    • Legislative District 7
      • Senator Singleton met with us and voiced our concerns directly to the Acting Commissioner of Education and to his fellow leaders in his party. His office remains in constant contact with us to share his latest advocacy actions and news about bills he is sponsoring (S3058, S3072, S2434, S2071, S1410) to ensure all schools are funded appropriately.
    • Legislative District 8
      • Senator Tiver and Assemblyman Torrissi sent a letter on March 5, 2024, to Governor Murphy on our behalf and arranged meetings with our administrative and Board team.
      • Assemblywoman Katz stays in constant contact with us and has joined sponsorship of a bill that would restore funding (A4160) to all 140 school districts, including LRHSD, that are losing state aid.

    This is a legislative issue, and legislative issues require activism. We were reminded of this by LRHSD BOE Finance Committee Chair David Stow at our most recent Board of Education meeting, “We have one month to make our voices heard before I have to stand before this board again and give another presentation of our budget and talk about the numerous multiple cuts…the programs that we had to sacrifice and the devastation that happens not only to our staff but to our kids. It is not right. There is only one way to turn it around. Let your voice be heard. Go home and take that message to everybody."

    Let your voice be heard and reach out to the key legislative leaders listed below and urge them to swiftly address the current crisis by fully reinstating our state aid. It's imperative this is done as soon as possible, in time for school districts to finalize their budgets in April. There will be cuts even if some or all of the state aid is returned to us, but those cuts will be less severe if our state aid is restored.

    Senator Vin Gopal - Senate Education Committee Chair
    (732) 695-3371

    Senator Paul Sarlo - Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair
    (201) 804-8118

    Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Assembly Education Chair
    (856) 435-1247

    Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, Assembly Budget and Appropriations Chair
    (973) 589-0713


    Dr. Carol L. Birnbohm
    Superintendent of Schools