Friday, August 27, 2010

BREAKING: Schundler Sacked!

Gov. Christie has sacked his education commissioner Bret Schundler as reported in The Governor apparently took the action after Shundler refused to resign. writes:

Christie's chief of staff, Richard Bagger, ordered Schundler to turn in his resignation Thursday night after federal officials released a video that appeared to contradict the commissioner's account of what transpired when the New Jersey delegation met with the federal officials to review funding application and review process.
By this morning Schundler had not quit, so Christie ordered his termination.

This takes the issue of NJ narrowly losing $400 million in federal funds to a whole new level.  Gov. Christie is clearly holding people to account and in this case, a close ally who campaigned for him across the state in his upstart run for Governor.

Bret Shundler is the former mayor of Jersey City who successfully implemented many successful solutions in his two terms.  Along with Gov. Christie, he's been a strong advocate for educational reform and charter schools.

See more on the story here:

Bret Schundler - fired by Gov. Christie this morning
Related: Hoboken Patch has an excellent story up how this relates to Hoboken schools.

Bret Schundler comments on firing as education commissioner

Race to the bottom: NJ didn't supply corrected budget information

In the developing story of a lost $400 million education grant to New Jersey, fingers are starting to point but there's once central problem - it changes nothing and the Feds are saying the corrected budget figures were never provided for the reform dollars in the "Race to the Top" program.

A video has surfaced on the matter but it's unclear how the budget information would have been used in the application process submitted after the July deadline.  Gov. Christie and his people are saying it was after the deadline and wouldn't have been applied in the scoring of the application, and the Feds are saying it was never submitted.  The missing budget information requested was for 2008 and 2009.  The budget information was worth five points in the application scoring.  New Jersey missed obtaining the federal funds by three points.

Excerpt of N.J.'s Race to the Top interview shows officials with no budget answer

Bret Schundler, NJ education commissioner sits center in the video

Although it's the end of the summer, this issue is sure to generate a firefight.  The NJ Teachers union, the NJEA spent millions to defeat Gov. Christie in the statewide election and has been a stalwart of resistance in any educational reform.  They've not generated sufficient sympathy in their recent ad campaign but you can be sure this one will be crafted and be available on the airwaves near you.

Some readers here have commented on both sides of the issue calling it a horrible loss for New Jersey and its children while others suggest NJ's bloated and wasteful educational system is a "beast" and needs to be "starved."

No matter where you fall on the matter, it's going to be an issue and Gov. Christie will be hearing about it for a long time.  Between the teacher's union and the media, you'll need to hide if you hope to escape from it.

Related: has the complete update on the story.