A Legitimate Issue Regarding Abbott
The largest recipients of Abbott district school aid include Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Camden, Trenton, East Orange, Passaic, Union City, and Irvington.
Meanwhile, the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services reports the following birth statistics for 2003 (the latest available data; see pages 16-31):
Percent of Mothers Who Were Unmarried
Jersey City (43%)
East Orange (68%)
Union City (51%)
Now it seems pretty obvious that the absence of a father or an unstable family life could affect a child's performance in school. As a parent and a taxpayer, I am willing to provide finite, targeted assistance to address this situation.
However, Abbott spending has become an unlimited, general subsidy for irresponsible behavior (and a bonanza for too many indirect beneficiaries). School is not a substitute for stable families or positive role models, and limitless school aid won't change this fact (no matter how many liberal judges wish upon a star).
Why should the rest of the state go bankrupt from Abbott spending when these communities are never held accountable for this conduct? Aren't we entitled to some glimmer of responsibility before we supply financial assistance?