Christie says he's sticking to promise to put funds into education

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - Gov. Chris Christie says he's sticking to his campaign promise to put more money into education.

This morning at Trenton Catholic Academy, the governor announced plans to make college more accessible and give parents a bigger say where their kids go to school. Christie says it's time to even the playing field between the "haves" and the "have nots."

Along with New Jersey's first secretary of higher education, Rochelle Hendricks, the governor announced plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on programs like tuition grants and student aid for kids with great grades in low income areas.

During a question and answer with teenage students, the governor said all parents should have the same access to parochial and private schools that he does. The governor's plans must still be approved as part of the budget. To be eligible for the governor's Urban Scholarship Program, students must:

- Be in the top 5 percent of their class and have at least a 3.0 grade point average- Attend a traditional public, public charter, county vo-tech or nonpublic school- Be a resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to graduation and upon college enrollment- Reside in one of 14 high-need communities identified by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). These communities were selected based on a sharp, objective look at what communities had the greatest need, cross-referencing DOE priority schools and DCA's New Jersey Redevelopment Authority municipalities to find the communities who would benefit the most. These 14 communities are: Asbury Park, Camden, East Orange, Irvington Township, Jersey City, Lakewood, Millville, Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton, Paterson, Plainfield, Roselle and Vineland.

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