Friday, June 3, 2016

Pushing to Protect the State Educational Opportunity Fund from Budget Cuts - JOHN REITMEYER, NJ Spotlight

The Educational Opportunity Fund provides both personal support and financial aid to thousands of low-income students entering college throughout New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie will have the final say, but those who are pushing to boost aid for EOF have good reason for hope. When a new budget came together last year, Christie agreed to keep in place an increase in EOF funding that was inserted by lawmakers even as he trimmed more than $1 billion from other programs at the last minute. Now they’re now hoping for a similar outcome as budget negotiations -- and outright horse-trading -- will play out over the next several weeks leading up to a June 30 deadline for a new budget. First funded in 1968 under former Gov. Richard Hughes, the EOF currently provides more than 17,000 students with both counseling and scholarships, typically starting before the students even enroll. Its success stories reach across the state, including in the Legislature itself, with several lawmakers among those to successfully

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