Allowing public school charter conversion with easier parent trigger;
Allowing easier private school conversion; and,
Allowing districts to convert failing public schools into charters.
Last September, Governor Christie put forward a sweeping package of reforms designed to make the State’s public pension system sustainable for current and future retirees and to bring fairness and affordability to the public employee health benefits system. Pension and benefit costs are widely recognized as key cost-drivers for government at both the State and local levels, and the need for reform in these systems has won support from members of both parties. Governor Christie and legislative leaders have joined in a commitment to make reform a top priority this year.
Overly generous benefits, contributions that are too low and the failure of politicians of both parties to provide adequate funding have left both systems teetering on the edge of fiscal insolvency. State and municipal budgets are now threatened by unfunded liabilities for the system that would grow to more than $120 billion.
For New Jersey’s pension fund, the unfunded liability for its State and local components is now $54 billion, and without reform, that liability will rise to $183 billion by 2041.
New Jersey’s health benefits system for retirees faces an even greater challenge, with an unfunded liability of $66.8 billion and a $4.3 billion annual cost to New Jersey taxpayers. Without reform, costs will increase 40% over the next four years.