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.