New Jersey voters get mixed messages on school elections

    New Jersey’s Education Commissioner is not on the same page with the Governor Chris Christie when it comes to how residents should vote on local school budgets next week. In New Jersey, most of the state’s 600 school districts must get voter approval every April for their spending plans.

    New Jersey’s Education Commissioner is not on the same page with the Governor Chris Christie when it comes to how residents should vote on local school budgets next week. In New Jersey, most of the state’s 600 school districts must get voter approval every April for their spending plans.

    A day after Governor Christie urged voters to reject school budgets in districts where teachers have not agreed to a wage freeze, Education Commissioner Bret Schundler appeared before the Senate Budget Committee. Senator Paul Sarlo, the committee chairman, asked Schundler if he shared that view.

    Sarlo: Do you believe as a top education official if teachers in that town did not take the wage freeze that the voters should turn down those budgets?
    Schundler: No.
    Sarlo: So you disagree with what the Governor shared with us yesterday?”
    Schundler: I don’t really think that’s what the Governor is trying to say here.

    Schundler said he believes the Governor was just trying to highlight taxpayer frustration over teachers unwilling to give up raises as part of the shared budget sacrifice.
    Schundler says if a school budget is rejected by voters and a district appeals to the state, he would judge that appeal on its merit.

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