Judges Rules in Favor of Poor Districts in Funding Case

Gov. Chris Christie


PATERSON, NJ - A state judge's ruling echoed what city school board members have been saying all year - that Gov. Chris Christie's education budget cuts unfairly impacted poorer districts like Paterson.


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Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne didn’t buy the Christie administration’s argument that the $1.6 billion in school aid cuts it made were distributed equitably among the state’s districts, according to a report on  Instead, Doyne determined the cuts fell most heavily on distressed districts.


In April, the case goes to the state Supreme Court which will have to decide on the issue of restoring funding to districts that lost it last year.


In Paterson, the Christie cuts forced the termination of about 400 teachers, decimating the elementary schools' art and music program, leaving many schools without librarians and putting the districts in violation of special education requirements.


A key question that remains is whether the courts will require the state to make up for the lost funding, or simply mandate changes in teh funding process going forward.


“It means we’re going to get more money, one way or another,” said Irene Sterling, executive director of the Paterson Education Fund, in the story.


The ruling came in a case brought against the Christie administration by the Newark-based Education Law Center.




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