TRENTON – The alliance of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Newark North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato was on full display in Christie’s budget address Tuesday afternoon, as the governor singled out Newark and lamented how taxpayers fork over $24,000 annually per public school student in Brick City.
Part of Christie’s remedy is verified by billboards visible not only around the urban core of Newark but other regions of the state, including Ocean County, where Adubato plugs his charter schools.
“In further support of reform, my budget proposes to more than double school choice aid and to increase funding for charter schools by more than 50 percent,” the governor said. “And beyond money, I propose we increase our capacity to authorize charter schools. I propose that all of New Jersey’s 31 public colleges become eligible to be authorizers, and that we streamline the process of getting authorized. And I propose that we allow charter school conversion and a greater range of types of charter schools.”
State Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-Newark) slammed the governor’s proposal moments after absorbing Christie’s speech.
“This is nothing more than the governor and Cory (Newark Mayor Cory Booker) attempting to build a national profile,” said Rice. “This is an address from a governor who’s planted his feet in one school to make an assessment of the whole education situation in Newark and tailor a message for a national audience. Just like Cory. There was no mention in the speech of crime, of the context of people getting shot in Newark. It’s a very superficial speech.”