This program was established in 1979 to provide the cost of tuition to any child or surviving spouse of a firefighter, law enforcement officer, and emergency responder killed in the line of duty, who is enrolled in a New Jersey public or private institution of higher education. Under the program, a child or surviving spouse enrolled in a public institution would have the cost of tuition paid for by the State. Survivors enrolled in private institutions would have tuition paid at a rate not more than the highest tuition of a public institution.
Governor Christie began phasing out the funding of this very worthy program in FY 2011, limiting the benefit only to those currently enrolled in the program at that time. In his budget this year, he completely eliminated the funding. One would think that the funding was some astronomical figure for him to cut back or eliminate the funding. Not so…the figure was a measly $34,000 a year…what a poke in the eye!
This subsidy is the very least our State government could do for survivors of those first responders who have given their lives in the line of duty…the ultimate sacrifice!