| NEW YORK, Sept 15
NEW YORK, Sept 15 New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie said on Thursday he seeks to reopen a 30-year-old court
battle over how much state aid to provide poorer school
In a filing to the New Jersey Supreme Court, the state
sought permission for the education department to bypass laws
and collective bargaining agreements as it sees fit.
It is an effort to clear what Christie said in a statement
were "statutory and contractual impediments" that interfere with
New Jersey's public school system.
"We've tried it for 30 years. What we know now is, more
money alone does not translate into a better education,"
Christie said. "Better teaching methods, more instruction time
and improved educational programs make the difference."
Since June, Christie, a close ally of Republican
presidential candidate Donald Trump, has been pushing for an
overhaul of the state's education funding formula to provide all
public school districts with a flat rate of $6,599 per student,
an effort aimed at reducing the state's high property taxes.
In a case called Abbott v. Burke, the New Jersey Supreme
Court ruled in 1985 that the schooling received by students in
poor districts was so bad it failed to meet the state's
constitutional mandate to provide a sound education.
A second ruling in 1990 forced the state to fund so-called
Abbott districts on par with wealthier ones.
New Jersey has spent nearly $100 billion on those 31
districts since 1985, Christie's statement said, even as
students in the districts "have lower graduation rates, and many
of their graduates require costly remedial courses before
Steven Fulop, mayor of Jersey City, which is an Abbott
district, said in a statement that Christie's funding plan is
unconstitutional and "an attack on urban communities in the
poorest of school districts."
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)