New Jersey Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that orders the state to increase spending on poor schools by $500 Million dollars. This is good news for low income schools, but Christie did dodge a bullet in the sense that they could have ordered all $1.7B in question to be paid.
This has been a long running battle between Governor and the State. In the past, when Christie was asked if he would comply with a court order to increase spending to poor schools, he basically said 'we'll see'. His claim is that this will shift needed spending away from other needs like hospitals.
This is breaking news, more as details come in.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this morning that the state must boost funding for the 31 poor districts known as former Abbotts in the coming fiscal year.
Governor Christie “The funding to the Abbott districts in FY 2012 must be calculated and provided in accordance with the School Funding Reform Act of 2008,” the court said. “Relief is limited to the plaintiff class of children from Abbott districts for whom the Court has a historical finding of constitutional violation.”
The ruling marks the latest twist in decades of litigation over how to fairly pay for New Jersey schools and make sure children in poor cities get access to decent educations.
The Newark-based Education Law Center launched this round last summer when it filed a complaint arguing that Gov. Christie’s cuts in state aid violated the state’s obligation to fully fund its 2008 school funding formula. The Christie administration countered that the recession had dried up tax revenues and that and most one-shot federal stimulus dollars had run out, making it impossible to balance the budget without those cuts. The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services reported in April that the administration’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year underfunds the state’s school aid formula by $1.7 billion.