NJ Fails Math, Loses Millions in School Funding

Christie office commits costly error on 'Race to the Top' application
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2010 5:22 PM CDT
In this Feb. 11, 2010, file photo, Gov. Chris Christie delivers an address to a special joint session of the New Jersey Legislature in Trenton.   (AP Photo/Curt Hudson, File)

(Newser) – New Jersey lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funding because of a simple mistake in its application, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. A staffer in Gov. Chris Christie's office filled out a field for budget data that called for a comparison of the 2008 and 2009 school years, but used figures comparing 2010 to 2011. In the Obama administration's tally, that error cost New Jersey 4.8 points, putting it 11th—just one short of the top 10 that receive extra federal money. No. 10 Ohio will get $400 million.

"Obviously we were disappointed not to receive the funding," a Christie rep said. "But at the end of the day, we stand behind these reforms and we need to move forward on them quickly." The state's largest teachers union blamed the governor's office for the failure. The error was "a direct result of Gov. Christie’s misguided decision to hijack the grant application process for his own political purposes," a union rep said.

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