NJ Governor Loses In Court On School Funding Debate

by KYW’s David Madden

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie suffered a defeat this past week, as the state Supreme Court rejected his bid to reconsider laws governing collective bargaining for teachers and the formula under which public schools are funded.

Christie had suggested more teaching time, as opposed to money, would go a long way to fixing things. The justices turned him down on that front, as well as his bid to freeze state aid while a new funding formula is developed in the legislature.

David Sciarra argued against the Governor’s stance. He’s in charge of the Education Law Center based in Newark.

David Sciarra, head of the Education Law Center based in Newark. (credit:  Education Law Center)

David Sciarra, head of the Education Law Center based in Newark. (credit: Education Law Center)

“What we’re hoping now this does is send a strong message to both the legislature and the Governor that they need to sit down in this upcoming budget and put in some new school aid,” Sciarra told KYW Newsradio, “and make sure that that increase in school aid goes to districts that need it the most, and you have a number of those districts down in South Jersey.”

11, all told, from Trenton, Burlington, and Camden south to Salem, Vineland, and Pleasantville.

But Abbott opponents argue that formula hurts other districts and raises local property taxes.

There are three competing plans for school funding reform from the Governor and both branches of the state legislature.

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