Christie reiterates call for longer school year

Republican Gov. Chris Christie has marked the start of the new school year by signing a handful of education bills and reiterating his calls for a longer school year.

Christie signed six bills before holding a news conference at the Grover Cleveland Middle in Caldwell, where he spoke for nearly an hour Tuesday.

One measure establishes a program setting aside $75 per pupil at private schools for security services and equipment. The Legislature estimates the change will cost $11.3 million in the first year.

He also signed legislation limiting expulsions and suspensions of kindergartners to second-graders, unless a violent or sexual act was committed.

Christie, who also repeated calls for a longer school year, said the agrarian calendar isn’t a valid reason anymore for the September-through-June timeframe.

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