Fair is fair. Here’s an excerpt from ELC’s press release on Gov. Christie, which crowns him the “most anti-public education Governor in modern New Jersey history” because he didn’t fully fund the state’s unfundable state aid formula.
The Legislature also found an extra $2.1 million for busing thousands of private school students in Lakewood, funding intended to continue sex-segregated “courtesy” busing for children living within walking distance of their schools. This special Lakewood legislation may also drain another $2 million or more from the budget of the fiscally distressed Lakewood public schools, which serve mostly Black and Latino – and low-income – students.
Here ELC nails it. Imagine what that $2.1 million could do for the low-income Latino and Black students trapped in Lakewood’s badly-underfunded public school system? Instead that money goes to bus Orthodox Jewish children, whose parents control the school board, to the many yeshivas in the neighborhood. Not to mention the budgetary implications of sending Orthodox Jewish children with special needs to a private special education school that caters to Jews and costs as much as $125K per child per year (not including transportation).
Of course, as ELC points out, Christie didn’t do this alone. A legislator proposed that pork barrel allocation. If you’ll excuse the expression.