Christie admitted at his press conference that he had not sought Mayor Sokolich's endorsement. Getting revenge on Fort Lee for a non-endorsement was a fantasy. That never was a factor.
Let's get clear: this was about money. This was about intimidating cities and towns to quiet their School Boards.
To be specific, Governor Chris Christie's deals with The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of New Jersey have been going very bad. Expensively bad. Horrendously bad. Beating up on Fort Lee was consistent with bringing pressure to keep quiet about the new bills going out for Special Ed.
Shutting down the George Washington Bridge for the first day of the school year -- perfect !!
Over the last four years Governor Christie has used his political capital to move these students to privatized facilities. Only problem, his "Capitalism is Efficient" mantra did not work out. Christie's privatized schools are costing the School Boards upwards of $90,000 a year per student.
Two years ago the cost for running public schools for Special Needs students was running at $43,000 a year per pupil. That sounded like a lot of money. But these are wheelchair kids who need a personal aide along with a classroom teacher. Turns out that $43,000 a year per pupil for public Special Ed was a very, very good price.
This works like hospitals. Public facilities were efficient like the Veterans Administration. The older public schools also did better jobs for the kids. Experience mattered.
$43,000 versus $90,000. Plus, what happens to the state property at these public schools? Who gets to build offices or condos on that land?
Christie has been doing all he could to shut up NJ's public education advocates. Shutting down the George Washington Bridge to hammer Fort Lee was typical for his heavy handed management.
Follow the Money. Below the orange muffin for more:
Fort Lee is one of the cities and towns fighting Christie about state schools and state property. Republicans are looters, always.
Fort Lee is one of the battlegrounds.
The big thefts underway include, literally, stealing schools. Special Ed schools are run by the State of New Jersey on state land. Christie has moved large numbers of Special Ed students over to the more expensive privatized schools. He's also trying to steal the land and sell it to his buddies.
Privatization doubles the cost per student, which falls on local school boards and their taxpayers. Consider the Special Ed facility known as Secaucus Regional School. This operation when it ran at or near capacity cost $43,000 a student for severely disabled students. These are kids who require one aide per student, plus the normal classroom teacher and school overhead.
Privatized schools cost more than $90,000 per student to provide similar environments.
Local officials have no control over what State of New Jersey does with these schools. All they can do is go public.
$43,000 vs. $90,000 is sweet for the crooks.
Christie whined about his school taxes -- since he sends his own kids to private schools, public school money is so much theft for him.
So now the Secaucus Regional School is down to a handful of students. School boards seeking to place disabled students there are turned away by a political-hack administrator.
Fort Lee has a similar situation and there's way more money involved in Bergen County. Attacking Fort Lee is intimidation, rooted in money.
Typical with a Republican thug governor.
"Abject stupidity" for Christie's aides ??? Well, they got caught.