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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


8-24-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--Christie dogged by protests at forum on property tax 'Fairness Formula' for schools

BORDENTOWN CITY — Gov. Chris Christie's sixth public appearance to promote his plan to redistribute state aid to schools was again met with strenuous protests on Tuesday.

And the governor said those protests only proved there needs to be change. 

Even before he appeared before the 150 people crowded into the Hope Hose Humane Fire Company 1, more than 100 people, many of them teachers, ringed the firehouse protesting the governor's call for a fixed $6,599 in state aide per student.

Inside the firehouse, Christie said he relished their onslaught and promised: "The day of reckoning has come."

"You will continue to see liberal editorial pages and special interest groups yell and scream that they need more money," said Christie, as passing cars sounded their horns at the crowds outside.

"I've never met an interest group that didn't need more money," he said. "I am the one who has to say no. That's what you hired me to do. I can guarantee you, when you say no, you are never popular with the group you say no to."

Christie's office says his proposed education funding formula would reduce property tax burden by an average of $1,900 per household in Bordentown city.


Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| August 23, 2016 at 3:24 PM, updated August 23, 2016 at 4:18 PM


Philadelphia Inquirer--School district takeovers leave communities voiceless

Fourth of seven parts.

In at least 20 states, lawmakers have stripped locally elected school board members of their power in impoverished, mostly minority communities, leaving parents without a voice - or a vote - in their children's education, according to a News21 state-by-state analysis of school takeovers.

More than 5.6 million people live in places where state officials took over entire districts or individual schools in the past six years, according to News21 data collected from state government agencies. About 43 percent are African American and around 20 percent are Hispanic. On average 29.2 percent of people in those areas are living below the poverty level. The U.S. average is 15.5 percent.

Typically in a school takeover - sometimes referred to as "intervention" - a state will assume broad authority over a district, dramatically reducing and sometimes eliminating the power of a local school board, elected by community constituents.


Lily Altavena, Rose Velazquez, and Natalie Griffin, NEWS21 PROJECT| Updated August 24, 2016 — 3:00 AM EDT


Philadelphia Inquirer--Christie school funding plan gets skeptical reception at South Jersey forum

Gov. Christie got pushback Tuesday during a forum in Burlington County on his pitch to revamp New Jersey's school funding system, as he faced questions on how poor districts would absorb the cuts his proposal would necessitate.

"You can't get blood from a stone," Sue Altman, an education consultant who recently moved to Camden, told the governor in Bordentown City. She questioned how Camden residents could compensate for the loss of most of their school district's state aid under Christie's plan, which the governor is promoting as a tax-relief measure.

As Christie began to praise charter and Renaissance schools in Camden, Altman cut in. "Gov. Christie," she said, prompting Christie to toss the microphone at her. Charter schools serve a "different demographic" of student, she continued.

Christie said charter schools were "working under different rules" from traditional public schools, where he faulted union rules with stymieing change.

In proposing his school funding redistribution - which would boost aid to suburban districts and slash aid to urban districts - "we're forcing change," the Republican governor said later.


Maddie Hanna, TRENTON BUREAU| Updated: August 24, 2016 — 1:07 AM EDT


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608