Democrats Unhappy With Gov’s Cut To NJ’s After 3 Program

Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora and Bonnie Watson Coleman lamented the end of NJ After 3, a statewide program that funded afterschool programs for thousands of students that will close after its state funding was eliminated by the governor. New Jersey After 3, which was established in 2004 and in 2008 served 15,000 students, will cease operations next week. According to media reports, the decision follows the loss of state funding and subsequent loss of private and matching funds. The elimination of $3 million in state funding under Gov. Christie’s 2012 budget was reportedly the final nail in the coffin.

Program sites affected in Lakewood, are the Ella G. Clarke School, Clifton Avenue Grade School and Oak Street School.

“This is a sad day for working families in New Jersey,” said Gusciora. “NJ After 3 was in essence an extension of the school day, and provided working parents the benefit of a safe place where they could send their children after school. I am disappointed that the governor touts education reform for urban schools but vetoed a program that has demonstrated success. He should have continued this program that was clearly working.”

“For many working parents in Trenton, especially low-income and single parents, these sites were not just safe havens, but places where their children could learn a new sport, get help with their homework, and even prepare for college,” said Watson Coleman. It’s a shame the governor didn’t see these benefits as worthy of saving. NJ After 3 and the thousands of students they served have fallen victim to the governor’s indifference toward working families.”

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement:

“This is yet another tragedy delivered by Gov. Christie to New Jersey’s working class families, and the worst thing about it is it was all avoidable had the governor simply put sound public policy ahead of conservative ideology.

“The Democratic budget responsibly restored $3 million to the NJ After 3 program to help it maintain its quality and affordable programs that benefited communities across our state, but the governor vetoed that funding, killing a program so vital to our children.

“This program has kept children safe and away from gangs and other ill-advised activities. It improved student achievement. It helped working families. It was the best kind of public-private partnership.

“Gov. Christie has some explaining to do to the working families who are losing this valuable program and now facing unnecessary uncertainty as to the safety and educational future of their children.

“We can’t discuss improving educational outcomes for at-risk children without investing the resources to supplement what happens during the school day.” TLS.

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  1. After 3 was just a taxpayer funded baby sitting service. Don’t need it. If the parents are working let them pay for thr baby sitter themselves. Why should I have to pay for it with my TAX MONEY????

  2. Democrats seem to have all the answers for us hard working folks. Pay for more programs….
    Anyone know how we can afford it?
    Seems like democrats propose all the wonderful, blissful programs to cure all the ills but the republicans are forced to act like adults and say to democrats “sorry if you can’t afford it then dont buy it!”
    All the social programs were supposed to eradicate poverty but over the past 40 years it has increased the poverty as more single moms are having babies to get on the government dollars.
    It is a very sad situation and until the politicans start real reform to the system giving incentives for the people to go to work we will be stuck.

  3. Stop working so hard and watch your kids. Then apply for government funding such as HUD, HEAP, food stamps ,etc. That’s the message. It doesn’t pay to work no more.

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