N.J. Dems say charter school grant loss ‘part of a pattern’

Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature are upset that the state failed to win a federal grant for charter schools.New Jersey was seeking $14 million in federal funds to cover the cost of books, computers and other startup expenses for new charter schools.Comments from federal reviewers indicate the state did not have an adequate plan for measuring the success of charters.Earlier this year an error on its application cost the Garden State a $400 million federal education grant.Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver says the charter application was also botched.”With all of the focus on the fallout from Race to the Top, I just clearly believe that no one in the Department of Education prioritized the preparation of this application,” said Oliver Monday. “I believe that it was just hastily put together.”Assembly Education Committee chairman Pat Diegnan said the loss of the latest grant is disturbing.”It’s really, really becoming a pattern which makes me and, I think so many like me, feeling that education should be a top priority in the state, wonder what type of priority it has at all in this administration,” said Diegnan.Oliver said she’ll ask the Assembly Education Committee to hold a hearing to examine what she calls a pattern in the Christie Administration’s inability to secure federal funds

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