Education

N.J. Supreme Court Rejects Gov. Christie’s Motion to Replace Funding Formula

By Daarel Burnette II — January 31, 2017 1 min read
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New Jersey’s Supreme Court rejected Tuesday a motion from Republican Gov. Chris Christie to upend the state’s funding formula, according to www.nj.com.

In September, Gov. Christie made a motion to the court to loosen the funding restrictions around the landmark Abbott v. Burke case that tightly controls the amount of money the state provides 31 mostly urban and low-income school districts.

Christie has been peddling a proposal to flatten the state’s funding formula so that suburban, urban and rural districts all get the same amount of money from the state, a proposal that would result in urban districts losing millions of dollars in state funding and suburban districts gaining millions of dollars.

Christie says that since the Abbott ruling, increased funding has failed to result in increased test scores (opponents say that’s an oversimplistic assessment of school funding and school improvement). In his motion, Christie asked to reopen the court case so that the state could change its teacher tenure law and allow the state to freeze the amount of money it contributes to the funding formula while it decides a new funding formula.

The court ruled that because the original case did not address teacher tenure laws, the case would have to first be heard in trial court.

Christie has had an infamously combative relationship with the state’s teachers union.

The ruling is likely to impact Christie’s budget which he’s expected to release in the coming weeks and indicates the court is not likely to take kindly to any major changes to the state’s funding formula.


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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

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