Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Consequences Of Christie's Rule

Two stories in the Newark Star-Ledger caught my eye this morning.

The first was this one:

Gov. Chris Christie’s cutbacks in school funding violate the state’s mandate to provide children "a thorough and efficient" education, a court-appointed Special Master declared today in a finding that could force the governor to come up with millions more for schools.

The opinion by Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne, who was appointed by the state Supreme Court in January, will now be considered by the state’s highest court, potentially setting the stage for another historic confrontation on an issue that has been litigated for more than 40 years.

"The difficulty in addressing New Jersey’s fiscal crisis and its constitutionally mandated obligation to educate our children requires an exquisite balance not easily attained," Doyne wrote. "Despite the state’s best efforts, the reductions fell more heavily upon our high risk districts and the children educated within those districts."
This was the second:

The Great Recession pushed thousands of New Jerseyans below the federal poverty level in 2009, causing the state’s rate to spike to the highest it’s been since at least 2002, a report released Tuesday finds.

The recession also took its toll on the state’s youngest residents, according to a separate report to be released today by the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Close to one-third of the state’s 2 million children were living in low-income families, more youths were out of both school and work, and slightly more children were abused or neglected, the group found.

In 2009, 9.4 percent of the state’s residents lived in poverty, compared with the national average of 14.3 percent. New Jersey’s rate has not risen above 8.7 percent since 2002, the first year it was calculated under the formula now used.

"New Jersey poverty is markedly worse by every measure," said Melville Miller Jr., president of New Jersey Legal Services, which released the poverty report. The numbers are "stunning, and terribly troubling," he added.

The report found 799,099 New Jerseyans lived below the poverty line in 2009. Children and the state’s Hispanic population in particular suffered sharp increases.

I'm sure Christie's school budget cuts, cuts to state aid, and tax cuts for rich people won't make these dire circumstances in New Jersey worse.

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