Judge Peter Doyne just issued his ruling on whether or not Christie’s 2010-2011 $1 billion cut in education aid violated NJ’s constitutional mandate to provide a thorough and efficient education system. Judge Doyne, appointed by the Court as a Special Master charged with reviewing evidence, ruled that, in fact, the cuts fell too heavily on poor urban districts. From the ruling:
Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our ‘at risk’ children are now moving further from proficiency.
Here’s Education Law Center’s press release.
New Jersey Newsroom quotes Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, who praised the ruling and noted, “[i]f the court accepts these findings, the governor’s budgeting philosophy will be further called into question.”
For counterpoint, here’s Senator Tom Kean:
Judge Doyne’s report proves that money is not the problem for chronically failing school districts in New Jersey. His assertion that the former Abbott (the 31 poor) districts are moving ‘further from proficiency’ despite spending more per pupil than almost every other state in America is a condemnation of education policies that favor money over accountability and innovation.
The case now goes before the Supreme Court.