New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) budget cuts last year violated the state constitution requirement that every school provide "a thorough and efficient" education, Judge Peter E. Doyne told the New Jersey Supreme Court last week. The court had appointed Doyne to determine the effects of Christie's 8 percent cut to school spending. Christie, a possible dark-horse presidential candidate who many on the right are trying to woo toward a White House bid, has been heralded by many conservatives for his aggressive fight with New Jersey teachers. But if the state Supreme Court agrees with Doyne, will Christie's hard-charging cutting spree hit a wall?
This could sink Christie: This report "was a broadside into the SS Christie." says Alfred P. Doblin in The Bergen Record. The tough-talking Republican will relish the fight, but if he wants to starve schools, it's his duty, not Doyne's, to come up with a way to make it work. Right now, by targeting teachers unions, "the SS Christie is firing at the wrong ships."
"Master and Commander: The far side of education"
Christie will just ignore the court: If the state Supreme Court is foolish enough to side with Doyne, who's going to make Christie "submit and restore the money"? asks Gregory J. Sullivan in The Times of Trenton. The court? And what army? Christie will simply "declare, correctly, that there is no money," and then smack the court down for its decades of usurping the legislature to impose its own "dumb liberal social policy" on school finance.
"Putting the brakes on judicial adventurism"
The governor should quit fighting and start leading: "Throwing more taxpayer money at the schools" hasn't worked in the past, and it "will never be the answer," says the Asbury Park Press in an editorial. But "neither will Christie's focus on charter schools." What New Jersey needs is money-saving, school-boosting "bold initiatives." Christie could start by consolidating New Jersey's "bewildering number of school districts," and tackling a real Garden State problem: School segregation.
"It shouldn't be all about the money"