Assemblyman Sauickie Seeks To Shift ‘Wasteful’ French Art Museum Funding To Schools

As Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration threatens to pull millions in funding for the proposed French art museum in Jersey City, Assemblyman Alex Sauickie is renewing his calls to reallocate that aid to schools.

“I’ve been calling out this wasteful spending since I first reviewed a state budget in 2023. I testified last year about redirecting the then-$13 million in last year’s budget, and again this year, I am advocating for the total $58 million appropriated to Centre Pompidou to be reallocated to schools,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said.

Sauickie represents 16 school districts, including the Jackson school district, which has seen its state aid cut by more than $20 million over the last seven years as a result of the law that overhauled the school funding formula in 2018. He testified at an Assembly Budget Committee hearing this year to highlight the cumulative effects of the consecutive funding cuts schools in his district have experienced.

“Plumsted, which did see an increase this year, has already let me know that due to cumulative state aid cuts since 2019, their district too will now have to request a loan,” he said at the hearing.

Sauickie is a prime sponsor of a bill (A4230) that would shift nearly $65 million in funds from existing unspent appropriations, including funds for the Pompidou, to school districts suffering from state aid reductions.

“In my opinion, it has taken this administration far too long to admit that funding the Pompidou is not fiscally responsible, but I’m hoping this revelation signals broader support for legislation to reallocate the funding to more critical needs like education,” Sauickie said. “New Jersey’s budget should be a reflection of its values and priorities. New Jersey school districts, teachers and most importantly, our children, deserve to be a priority.”

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