Bold Signs in New Jersey

In the past week, New Jersey’s newly-elected Governor Chris Christie  made two strong choices. The first was to propose cutting back on “Extraordinary Aid” and “Special Aid”  to municipalities. These programs haven’t helped end fiscal distress in municipalities, but have more likely subsidized ongoing mismanagement. The Governor was overruled by the legislature which today voted to approve $121 million in aid to Camden, Paterson, Jersey City, Union City, and Bridgeton. Governor Christie may still rescind the aid when he proposes the budget in March.

Another bold policy sign is the Governor’s nomination of former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler to be education commissioner.

Here he recounts his role at the forefront of the charter school movement in New Jersey. calls it a “gutsy pick.” Mr. Schundler says he’s open to working with the New Jersey Educational Association. Whether he gets the job will is yet to be determined. State Senator Nicholas Sacco plans to “wait and see” what Mr. Schundler’s vision is for education before making a judgement.