Christie pledges more aid to school districts ‘shut out’ of process

VOORHEES – Gov. Chris Christie said on Wednesday the state will provide more school aid to districts that have largely been shut out since much of the aid was given to the state’s neediest schools.

“A lot of districts will see increased aid,” he said during his first-ever town hall meeting in a trendy mall on Town Center Boulevard here surrounded by hundreds of people, some of whom looked over from the rafters. “We’re going to do it in a coordinated way.”

He said the state will be able to provide increased funding, in addition to his proposed 10 percent income tax cut that he hopes to phase in over three years.

That claim counters one made by Democrats Tuesday, who said education funding would need to be cut to free up funding for the proposed income tax reductions. The approximate annual cost for the cuts is about $300 million. 

When one questioner asked him about the Democrats’ argument, Christie responded, “That’s a false choice.”

“They’re selling up that choice…to confuse you.”

“We’ll be able to do that without cutting school aid.”

Christie didn’t specify where the money to pay for the income tax cut would come from, only saying “There’s a lot of things we can do reduce the size of government.”

The governor pointed out the public sector work force has been at its lowest level in 11 years.

Christie pledges more aid to school districts ‘shut out’ of process