During a Town Hall appearance on Thursday in Cedar Grove, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told a packed auditorium that the PARCC opt-out movement will have ramifications beyond his control.
“It’s their right if they want to opt out… There’s nothing I can do to stop them,” Christie said, suggesting that the likely consequences are funding cuts and higher taxes. “But then don’t come later and complain you don’t get the money that you’re used to.”
Politicians and educrats in many states are making vague threats about cuts in federal aid to school districts but Christie, with his usual bluster, has gone a bit further.
High opt-out rates will result in higher taxes.
That's a potent threat from a governor who refuses to support an increase to the gas tax in New Jersey even as the state's infrastructure falls apart (literally in some cases) and the public rail system faces tens of millions of dollars in short falls.
An increase in the gas tax would raise money to keep New Jersey bridges from falling into the water and NJ Transit from fare hikes and service cuts 5 years after a 22% fare hike and cuts to service.
But Christie refuses to support a gas tax hike because he's looking to run for president touting himself as a governor who doesn't raise taxes in a Republican primary where raising any tax is heresy to conservative voters.
Yet he's willing to raise taxes on school districts with high opt-out rates.
This says a lot about Chris Christie and where he stands on the Endless Testing regime.
No taxes can ever be raised in New Jersey, even if that means part of the Pulaski Skyway falls into the river - but if too many parents opt their kids out of the PARCC tests (He's looking at you, Montclair!), tax hikes are coming!