Christie Calls for Equal Funding Per Student

TRENTON (AP) -

Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday proposed redistributing billions in school aid from poor districts, calling the current formula “immoral” and a factor in the state’s highest-in-the nation property taxes.

Christie focused on a classic New Jersey boogeyman — high property taxes, the country’s highest — and a long-simmering frustration that the state’s school funding unfairly helps some residents while burdening others, with little to show for it.

Christie wants to scrap a state formula that goes back to a 1985 state Supreme Court ruling requiring that 31 poorer districts get a “thorough and efficient” education because, he says, results show it isn’t working. The proposal drew opposition from Democrats and praise from Republicans.

The state distributes about $9.1 billion to schools. Under his plan, each district would get $6,599 per student. That’s a change from the current formula that gives poor cities $21,000.

“That is an unacceptable, immoral waste of the hard-earned money of the people of New Jersey,” he said.