promoted by Rosi
One thing to keep in mind when thinking about why we didn’t get $400 million offered to us by the feds is that we were on the bubble exactly because the Christie application sucked. Had the application not been so bad that we were on the edge of acceptance, the error made in the Christie application wouldn’t have meant anything.
A second thing to remember is that there was once an application – negotiated by the Christie administration’s Commissioner of Education Bret Shundler and the NJEA – that would have scored high enough to get the $400 million. That application also didn’t have the error that cost us $400 million. But Christie threw a another hissy fit when he heard about it on the news instead of from Shundler, and tossed that application out.
Instead of just changing the parts he didn’t like, Christie appears to have started from scratch as part of his hissy fit. As a result a question that was simply factual and had no bearing on the NJEA-Shundler negotiations was removed and replaced with the wrong information. And that led to the loss of $400 million during a massively problematic fiscal era.
Now, for some reason, people like Christie and Bob Braun want to blame the feds. There’s some need in the media to make all things equal, and even in a situation where it’s obvious what happened they need to blame both sides equally.
But there are only two explanations I can see for this disaster. The first is that Christie intentionally tanked the application in an effort to continue hurting the public schools to the extent where vouchers appear to be the only solution. Or that Christie intentionally mis-wrote the answer to that question in order to hide funding cuts by the previous administration in some effort to improve his own standing or image. I find conspiracy theories like this not terribly realistic, in no small part because Christie’s not that clever.
The more likely is that it was Christie’s need to be in control, his hate of the NJEA and his inability to play well with others that lost this money. Essentially his pissy temperament – the same one that got him in trouble as a Freeholder and was so respected by the media as US Attorney – just cost every resident of the state of New Jersey $45. It’s incompetence of the worst kind – willful and unnecessary.
Essentially, we lost the money because Governor Chris Christie is an asshole.