Gov. Christie calls for equal funding per student in New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie is proposing sweeping changes to how New Jersey distributes money to school districts across the state.
The governor said Tuesday at Hillsborough High School that he wants to distribute aid equally to pupils in the state's roughly 600 school districts. He says he will do this by cutting property taxes.
Christie says that it would amount to about $6,599 per pupil. Under a formula approved by the state Supreme Court, about 30 of the state's urban, lower-income districts receive more money per pupil while higher-income suburban districts get less.
The governor cast the current formula as unfair and a factor in the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes.
"It's an unacceptable failure because we have the solution in front of us but we just don't have the will," Christie says. "I have the will."
However, some of Christie's opponents have called the plan "radical" and that it is "unfair, unjust and unconstitutional."
Democratic Assemblyman Gary Schaer says that it's not fair to suggest that every child and community is the same.
Supports of the plan say that they expect some of the state's Democrats to come around.
"When their average homeowner may get a reduction of $3,000 on their property taxes, well ask them whether they think that's important," says Republican Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.
The plan would entail an amendment to the state's constitution. Christie says that the full details of the plan still need to be worked out, including plans for students with special needs.
The governor will take the plan out on the road this summer in order to gain support.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.