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    NJ Advance Media has put together a list of the top girls lacrosse seniors. Vote for the No. 1 player at the bottom.


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    Gov. Phil Murphy's latest town hall also featured a confrontation with another crying parents worried about school funding. Watch video

    The man stood right in front of Gov. Phil Murphy and was blunt. 

    "This state is too expensive, and you're making it worse," Greg from Freehold told the Democratic governor during a town hall in Newark on Thursday night. 

    Three months into his tenure, Murphy had come to Newark Tech High School to sell his first state budget proposal -- a $37.4 billion plan that includes more than $1.5 billion in new taxes and moves to close loopholes. 

    The governor argued those hikes are needed because he "inherited a mess" from his predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, and that the state "stopped funding" important things like education, transportation, women's health and more.  

    "We need to be that state that's good value for money," Murphy told the audience of about 100 or so. "You say: 'You know what? It may not be the cheapest place in the country to live, but you get a lot back for that."

    But Murphy faced two confrontations in an otherwise jovial evening in New Jersey's largest city, a Democratic stronghold.

    One came from another crying mother from south Jersey who begged Murphy to fix the state's school funding issues. 

    Phil Murphy faced anger and tears over school funding at a town hall

    Greg, however, came first. 

    The Freehold resident echoed many of the arguments that Republicans -- and some Democrats -- make about Murphy: that New Jersey already has the nation's highest property taxes, and he should look to cut money instead of spending more. 

    Greg noted that his property taxes have more than doubled since he and his wife bought their home in 2001. 

    He then reeled off how Murphy wants millions of dollars for things like universal pre-kindergarten and free community college. 

    "Who's paying for this? Where is this money coming from?" Greg asked Murphy face-to-face. The governor walks right over to those with questions at his town hall meeting.

    "You're going way too far," the man continued. 

    At one point, Greg argued that new public workers -- such as teachers and police and firefighters -- should be forced into 401k-styled retirement plans instead of pensions. 

    Then, the man said he plans to flee the Garden State once he's able to.

    "I got seven years, four months, and one day, and I am gone," Greg said. "I am sending my daughters to college out of state with orders never to return."

    Murphy didn't fire back the way Christie might have during those arguments at his old town halls. 

    Instead, he smiled.

    "I wanna be the governor for the folks who stay, let me just say that," the new governor responded. 

    Murphy then noted "we're doing a lot on property taxes."

    "Yeah, increases," Greg shot back.

    "OK, I listened to you. Do you want to listen to me?" Murphy replied. 

    Though short on details, the governor started a list:

    * His administration filed a lawsuit to fight the Republican-backed federal tax overhaul that will hurt New Jersey. 

    * He's appointing a czar to examine having more towns share services to bring down property tax bills. 

    * He plans to fully fund the state's education formula over the next four years, which he argues will bring down property tax bills. 

    * And he vowed to help grow the state's economy. 

    "I'll tell you what we're not gonna do, though," Murphy added. "We're not gonna take it out of the backs of teachers and the police and fire."

    A few minutes later, the second confrontation happened. 

    It echoed the scene from Murphy's last town hall, in Willingboro, earlier this month, when a group of worried parents, school officials, and young students implored Murphy to rework the school funding numbers in his budget. 

    Critics say while Murphy's proposal significantly increases education funding overall, many school districts considered "underfunded" have been shortchanged while "overfunded" districts receive too much money. 

    On Thursday, Amy Jablonski, a parent and school board member in Chesterfield, told Murphy she voted for him and that she's "very supportive" of his legislative agenda. 

    But she pleaded with the governor to rework school funding. 

    "I want to believe you, that you're gonna do the right thing for my kids," Jablonski, who stood next to her first-grade daughter Emma, said through tears. "But when I hear from everyone else and I don't hear you making those commitments, I'm afraid I can't believe in your agenda anymore."

    Murphy told her that "help is on the way."

    He assured her he is working with the Democratic-controlled state Legislature on the matter. Acting state education commissioner Lamont Repollet told top lawmakers earlier this week that he will work with them to "modernize" the school funding formula before the state budget is due June 30. 

    "We accept the formula isn't right," Murphy continued Thursday. "I'm on your side. We're committed to figuring this out. You have my word." 

    On a lighter note, another person in the audience had a different question for Murphy. 

    "I want to ask you face to face, man to man, will you please come on my podcast?" Terrell from Newark asked. "Please. Please."

    "Can someone follow up with Terrell?" Murphy responded with a grin. 

    The governor also snapped a photo with the man. 

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.


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    Lisa Durden was fired from her job as an adjunct professor at Essex County College in June over comments she made on a Fox News show.

    An adjunct professor who was fired after comments she made on a Fox News show is suing Essex County College claiming she was wrongfully terminated and her civil rights were violated. 

    Lisa Durden, 54, of Newark, was fired after making an appearance on Fox's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on June 6. 

    Durden taught media and public speaking at Essex County College for six months last year before the college suspended and later fired her. She's now suing the college for damages, saying the administration violated her right to free speech and breached her contract. 

    "It's important to make sure my civil rights are preserved," Durden told NJ Advance Media. "I have a right to free speech."

    The lawsuit states Durden was not speaking on behalf of the college and did not identify herself as an employee of the public institution while on TV.

    In a heated six-minute exchange with host Tucker Carlson, Durden defended the Black Lives Matter movement's decision to only invite black people to a Memorial Day celebration in New York City. 

    "Boo hoo hoo, you white people are angry because you couldn't use your white privilege card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter all black memorial day celebration," she said on the show.

    Wayne Yourstone, a college spokesman, said Essex County College does not comment on pending litigation. He added, "The matter involving Ms. Durden was handled in a lawful manner consistent with her status as an adjunct."

    Following Durden's firing in June, college president Anthony Munroe defended the decision. 

    "The college was immediately inundated with feedback from students, faculty and prospective students and their families expressing frustration, concern and even fear that the views expressed by a college employee (with influence over students) would negatively impact their experience on the campus," Munroe said in a statement at the time.

    Durden's lawsuit alleges she was humiliated, embarrassed and suffered emotional distress over her firing -- which made national headlines

    Durden said she's often made TV appearances speaking on pop culture, politics, social issues and other matters. Her segment on the Tucker Carlson show, she said, was her first appearance on that show during her short tenure at Essex County College. After her firing, Durden ran on the Green Party ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor, alongside Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, who ran for governor. 

    "This is an example of an educational institutional trying to chill speech by its employees," Durden's attorney Leslie Farber said. "What the person said publicly had nothing to do with their jobs."

    Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    N.J. is winning the fight against soot, but the state's ozone levels are still concerning according to 2018 "State of the Air" report

    There's good and bad news about the quality of New Jersey's air.

    Fewer areas in the Garden State are suffering from pollution caused by air particles, like soot and fine dust. Ozone pollution, on the other hand, is worsening.

    That assessment comes from the American Lung Association's newly released 2018 "State of the Air" report, which details air pollution around the nation from 2014 to 2016 and found that more than four in 10 Americans live with unhealthy air.

    According to the report, both ozone and soot pollution can contribute to lung cancer and other health problems.

    Ozone, the main ingredient in smog, that is found in air near the Earth's surface can be extremely harmful to people. It's effects can be described as "sunburn for the lungs," said to Kevin Stewart, a spokesman for the American Lung Association.

    "Someone could have an asthma attack as a result of this," Stewart said of ozone pollution. "Someone could go to the emergency room, and we know that asthma can kill people."

    Stewart said that ozone isn't typically emitted directly into the air, but rather forms when other pollutants combine. The chemical reaction that causes ozone to form happens more frequently in hot weather.

    Out of 227 metro areas, the greater New York area (which includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties) was listed as the 10th worst city for ozone pollution. The greater Philadelphia area (which includes Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties) was listed as the 24th worst city for ozone pollution.

    The report grades individual counties on an A through F scale based on the number of high pollution days they registered during the study. In New Jersey, 15 of the state's 21 counties monitor ozone pollution. Of those, 11 scored F's; Morris County scored a D; and Atlantic, Cumberland and Warren counties scored C's. New Jersey's ozone pollution grades are worse compared to last year's report.

    Because air pollution is not confined by state borders, the report measures metro areas rather than individual states. New Jersey is split between the New York and Philadelphia metro areas. However, Stewart said that if New Jersey was measured as a whole it would still rank as one of the worst ozone pollution areas.

    OzoneGrades.jpgOzone pollution grades for New Jersey counties, according to the American Lung Association's 2018 "State of the Air" report. Map courtesy of the American Lung Association. 

    As for soot pollution, New Jersey showed improvement from last year's report.

    The greater Philadelphia area was also listed as the 12th worst city for year round air particle pollution, out of 187 metro areas. The greater New York area was ranked 26th.

    But areas in Delaware and Connecticut, also included in those metro areas, were more polluted than New Jersey, Stewart said. Overall, the Garden State is in pretty good shape when it comes to particle pollution. Of the 13 counties that monitor particle pollution in the state, all but one were graded A or B. Union County, the worst offender, received a C.

    DailyParticleGrades.jpgDaily air particle pollution grades for New Jersey counties, according to the American Lung Association's 2018 "State of the Air" report. Map courtesy of the American Lung Association. 

    Part of the reason New Jersey may have less soot pollution is because the state has focused on putting cleaner engines on the road and expanding renewable energy in the state, said Larry Hajna, spokesman for theNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Also, the closure of New Jersey coal power plants and the phasing out of old diesel engines have been important in cutting back the Garden State's air particle pollution, he added.

    Cutting back vehicle emissions is also a way to combat ozone pollution, Hajna said. He noted that New Jersey has some of the strictest vehicle emissions regulations in the nation, but that the state can do little to address emissions blowing into the Garden State from elsewhere. Specifically, Hajna said it is common for ozone pollution from Pennsylvania and points south to blow northward into New Jersey.

    Hajna also noted the state's renewed push for wind energy and electric vehicles.

    "All administrations in New Jersey, going back decades, have taken air quality seriously," Hajna said. "This administration is no different."

    Michael Sol Warren may be reached at mwarren@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MSolDub. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    From Anthony Ashnault to Sydney McLaughlin, New Jersey's high school sports legends are well represented in the national record books.


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    Rescuers describe Geets as "calm and friendly."

    ex0422pet.jpgGeets 

    NEWARK -- Geets is a senior male tuxedo cat at the Associated Humane Society in Newark.

    Rescued as a stray, shelter workers describe him as a "calm and friendly" feline who should make a good pet in most any home.  Geets is FIV/FeLV negative, neutered and up-to-date on shots.

    To meet Geets and other adoptable pets, visit the Associated Humane Society at 124 Ever-green Ave. The shelter is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 973-824-7080 or go to petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=NJ01.

    Shelters interested in placing a pet in the Paw Print adoption column or submitting news should call 973-836-4922 or email essex@starledger.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    If you think New Jersey is immune to snow in late April or early May, think again.


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    Hottest baseball stories of the week


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    WEST ORANGE -- Mayfair Farms in West Orange hosted the 1986 Union Catholic High School senior prom, where this table photo was taken. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey The promgoers are unidentified. If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to essex@starledger.com. And,...

    WEST ORANGE -- Mayfair Farms in West Orange hosted the 1986 Union Catholic High School senior prom, where this table photo was taken.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    The promgoers are unidentified.

    If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to essex@starledger.com. And, check out more glimpses of history in our online galleries on nj.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    More than 12,000 people in New Jersey wanted to know how to delete their Facebook account after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

    Apparently people in New Jersey have had enough of Facebook.

    Tens of thousands of people are actively thinking of getting rid of the platform, according to recent research by Top10VPN, a U.K.-based company focused on cybersecurity.

    The number of Google searches about how to delete Facebook doubled in the weeks after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March, the research shows.

    The New York Times and the Guardian reported last month that profiles of millions of Facebook users were harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm hired by President Trump's 2016 campaign. The firm used the information it had gathered to strategically place political ads.

    About 87 million Facebook users around the world had their details shared with Cambridge Analytica, forcing CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Capitol Hill last week.

    More than 80 percent of the people affected by the data breach live in the U.S., said Simon Migliano, head of research and CEO of Top10VPN.

    As a response to the scandal, Facebook users across the world began searching for ways to delete their accounts.

    His team pooled all the Google searches related to deleting Facebook in 255 locations across 17 countries. The total number of searches totaled 3.5 million. One-third of those searches were from within the U.S., Migliano said.

    About 27,000 searches originated from New Jersey -- a 126 percent increase from the months prior to the Cambridge Analytica story breaking, according to the data.

    Searches on how to delete Facebook may have doubled in New Jersey, but they spiked even higher in New York.

    In New York, searches rose 134 percent to 36,550 in the weeks following the scandal.

    Other U.S. cities that experienced spikes include San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Portland and Austin.

    "I think these numbers are only going to get bigger," Migliano said. "Facebook has something to worry about."

    New Jersey's attorney general's office is investigating how personal information came into the possession of Cambridge Analytica and if data from New Jersey was compromised.

    "I am particularly troubled by reports that Facebook may have allowed Cambridge to harvest and monetize its users' private data, despite Facebook's promises to keep that information secure," Grewal said in a statement. "At this point we have many questions and few answers, and New Jersey's residents deserve to know what happened."

    Facebook says that it can take up to 90 days to process your request and to delete your information from the site.

    Click here. This will take you to the page where you can delete your account.

    For more information visit the help document located in Facebook's Help Center.

    Erin Banco may be reached at ebanco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinBanco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Take a look at the top talent in the Class of 2019.


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    The cast and crew was arrested Jan. 18 as they attempted to bring a roller bag through security at Newark Liberty International Airport. Watch video

    fakebombFilmCrew.JPGThe Transportation Security Administration provided this photo showing the device that led to the arrest of the CNBC film crew. 

    Turns out a suitcase brought to security at  Newark Liberty International Airport by a reality TV crew wasn't intended to be a fake bomb.

    The cast and crew of  "Staten Island Hustle" that tried to get the suitcase through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint was arrested in January and accused of pulling a stunt.

    However, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said Friday his office couldn't prove that the cast and crew intended to commit a criminal act and dismissed all charges.

    "This is not a case of gotcha where they're trying to sneak contraband past the TSA," Laurino said at a press conference. "They were hoping to show that the invention was TSA compliant so it could be marketed." 

    A spokesman for the show's production company said the company was "gratified" by the prosecutor's decision.

    "As we stated in January, the cast and crew of CNBC's 'Staten Island Hustle' were simply producing an episode about a new product that allows travelers more room for clothing, and there was no intention whatsoever to cause an incident at the airport," said Joe Schlosser, the company's senior vice president of communications.

    Laurino said the TSA and Port Authority Police Department, took the correct action based on what they knew at the time.

    "They were confronted with a bag that contained PVC piping, wiring and a motor and a passenger who said he was not taking the flight for which he had just checked a bag," Laurino said. "They were justifiably concerned particularly in light of this global threat environment."

    Laurino also said the TSA is considering whether to bring a federal civil action against the network, which would involve possible fines.

    The cast and crew was arrested Jan. 18 as they attempted to bring the roller bag through security. Unfortunately, the materials used to make the vacuum are similar to those used in an improvised explosive device, according to the TSA.

    The cast and crew were all charged with creating a false public alarm, interference with transportation and conspiracy. The crew was taken into custody and later released without posting bail.

    All nine pleaded not guilty Feb. 2 through their attorneys. The cast and crew: Ronald M. Montano, 44, of Staten Island, New York; Samuel Micah Berns, 39, of Hollywood, California; Jacob M. Towsley, 34, of Portageville, New York; Michael L. Palmer, 51, Staten Island, New York; William Oaks, 36, of Brooklyn, New York; Philip K. Nakagami, 26, of Jersey City; Carlos F. Gonzalez, 33, of Queens, New York; Timothy S. Duffy, 34, of Sparta, and Adolfo Lacola, 51, of Staten Island, New York.

    The bag and trip to the airport was all part of an episode of the reality show, which follows friends and businessmen in Staten Island who are looking for investments. The show debuted this spring and runs on Wednesday nights. The production company, Endemol Shine Group, also produces MasterChef and The Biggest Loser.

    Endemol, a Dutch production company that contracts with CNBC, called the incident a "misunderstanding" and apologized after the arrest. And Harold Ruvoldt, the attorney for seven of the men, said he was confident prosecutors would determine that no crime had been committed and no grand jury would indict on the evidence. 

    However, Port Authority Chairman Kevin J. O'Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton pointed to the large number of Port Authority police officers who had to be pulled away from security duties to deal with the device, and announced they expected an "aggressive prosecution" against the crew.

    Tom Carter, TSA's Federal Security Director for New Jersey, said at the time that what the crew did was akin to, "yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded theater or using a toy gun to rob a bank and then claiming that it was just a toy.

    Staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.

    Allison Pries may be reached at apries@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonPries. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    A conference-by-conference breakdown of the top teams and players in N.J. girls lacrosse this week.


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    The fight against pollution has been churning for decades, yet New Jersey's waterways are still trashed. Watch video

    It is Earth Day weekend 2018, and around the Garden State thousands of volunteers will wade into streams and rivers to pull hundreds of tires and tons of  bottles, bikes and all other types of trash out of rivers and waterways.

    Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, new laws fighting the most toxic and dangerous pollution of land, water and air have continued to improve the  environment. But while environmental health in New Jersey has improved drastically since 1970, problems persist.

    The most visible problem? Litter.

    To this day, trash continues to make its way from roadsides to riverbeds in massive quantities.

    The culprit? Humans.

    The good news is that efforts have sprung up all around the Garden State to fight the trashing of our waterways.

    Meet the crew who cleans up the Passaic River

    Along the 21-mile long Passaic River, the Passaic Valley Sewer Commission has used a trash skimming boat to pull garbage directly out of the water since 1999. Since the program began, the skimmer has pulled about 3,050 tons of plastic bottles, styrofoam containers, aluminum cans and other garbage out of the Passaic.

    In 2005, the PVSC began supplementing the skimmer operations with community cleanups of the river banks. PVSC spokesman Doug Scancarella. Scancarella said more than 270,000 volunteers to date have helped clean more than 9,000 tons of trash off the banks of the Passaic.

    The constant stream of litter flowing into the Passaic, combined with the trash brought in with the tides, is frustrating to the people who work to clean the river. But Scancarella said that doesn't diminish the work being done.

    "It's hard to quantify what [the river] would look like if we weren't doing it," Scancarella said.

    In Central Jersey, Bill Schultz, the Raritan Riverkeeper, says work to clean trash out of the Raritan has surged in recent years.

    "We're seeing a resurgence in interest in the Raritan River," Schultz said.

    Schultz said that dam removal and toxic site remediation has helped the Raritan regain its health, but garbage in the water and on the river banks remains a persistent problem.

    "Litter is a human behavior. That's one of the concerns that I still have," Schultz said. "I'm not sure that we're making the progress that we need to."

    Schultz points to the Central Jersey Stream Team, a small nonprofit, as a model of volunteer river cleanups.

    "This is the gang that is in the mud," Schultz said. "They are digging tires out of the riverbed. It's fantastic."

    Jens Riedel, the president of the nonprofit, said they've pulled more than 4,000 tires and tons of trash out of the Raritan River and its tributaries to date.

    The group has cleaned the entire main stem and south branch of the Raritan from Clinton to Piscataway at least once since the cleanups started.

    Riedel says most of the trash they find is plastic bottles and food containers, but bicycles and mattresses have been pulled up before. They've even helped dig three cars out of the river in Bridgewater, near Duke Island Park

    Gallery preview 

    Along the Shore since 1985, Clean Ocean Action organizes two major "beach sweeps" each year in April and October. The events typically take place at more than 60 locations simultaneously, drawing thousands of volunteers.

    "It's really exciting to me to see the thousands of people that turn out," said Cindy Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action. "I think it shows the Jersey pride that we have for the Jersey Shore, but more importantly that people are recognizing the impact."

    The state gets in on the cleanup action too. Since 2011, the state Department of Environmental Protection has organized "blitzes" of Barnegat Bay aimed at cleaning up litter throughout the important South Jersey watershed. Larry Hajna, a spokesman for NJDEP, said that about 27,000 volunteers have picked up about 4,200 cubic yards of trash since the program started.

    The clean up work across the state is important, but it only mitigates the larger pollution problem.

    "Clean ups are great, but we are advocating to stop plastic pollution at the source," said Sandra Meola, the policy and communications director for NY/NJ Baykeeper.

    For her group, Meola said, that means pushing for a statewide fee on plastic and paper bags, a statewide ban on styrofoam food containers in public schools and universities and a statewide ban on the intentional release of balloons.

    There's a common theme shared by waterway advocates across the Garden State: Cleaning up trash is important, but the positive effects are diminished by people continuing to dump garbage and litter across New Jersey.

    "As a society, we have to learn that our rivers are not acceptable garbage cans," Schultz said.

    Michael Sol Warren may be reached at mwarren@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MSolDub. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    In an emotional plea, a Burlington County resident who voted for Murphy confronted him about the lack of state aid for schools. Watch video

    When pressed for an answer, Amy Jablonski said Friday she'd know the exact date at which she could start questioning her vote for Gov. Phil Murphy.

    "On July 1, once the state has officially adopted its budget," said Jablonski, a school board member in Chesterfield and assistant principal in a Holmdel.

    That move -- signing off on the $37.4 billion budget that Murphy has proposed --would potentially set into motion the $1.5 billion in new taxes and underfunded state aid for schools districts, like the one where Jablonski lives. 

    Jablonski said she was speaking for herself when she peppered Murphy with questions about equal school funding during a town hall meeting in Newark on Thursday. At one point, she began to tear up. She said underfunding in the Chesterfield school district in Burlington County -- about 15 miles south of Trenton -- threatened the education of her daughter, Emma, who stood at her side.

    amy jablonski, murphy school quesion.jpgAmy Jablonski, a resident of Chesterfield, Burlington County, questioned Murphy at a town hall. (Facebook)
     

    "I want to believe you're going to do the right thing for my kids," Jablonski said at the town hall, fighting back tears. "I'm afraid that I can't believe in your agenda anymore."

    Murphy, who has been governor for just over three months, urged Jablonski to "hold on."

    "Help is on the way," he said.

    But Jablonski continued to have doubts Friday.

    "Often times the governor speaks in vagaries," Jablonski said. "We know those lines that get him a lot of applause are just lines."

    Murphy has proposed a $37.4 billion plan that includes more than $1.5 billion in new taxes and he's been taking his town hall events to communities all over the state. Earlier this month, in Willingboro, Burlington County, he was met with similar criticism from residents of school districts that are underfunded. 

    Jablonski said she knows Murphy has just entered office, but said he still had control of adjustment aid to districts around the state. She said Chesterfield -- a 21-square-mile town of just shy of about 7,700 residents -- is being funded at 20 percent of what it should receive in adjustment aid while some districts are being funded at up to 131 percent.

    When the current funding formula was passed in 2008, some districts would have lost money in the first year. So, lawmakers created a category of funding called adjustment aid, better known as "hold harmless" funding. Essentially, money was awarded to those districts solely so that they did not lose any state aid. Designed as a temporary measure, the aid has remained in the budget ever since.

    Jablonski is part of a group known as the Fair Funding Action Committee, that extends beyond just her community and into districts like Kingsway Regional in Gloucester County. The group advocates equitable funding across every district.

    "We accept that the formula isn't right...I just got here three months ago," Murphy said at the town hall. "I'm on your side. We're committed to figuring this out. You have my word."

    Jablonski said she wants to believe Murphy, but she's looking at the calendar.

    "I hope this governor does the right thing," she said Friday. "We are going to be relentless in getting this done for our children."

    Staff writer Adam Clark contributed to this report.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips