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(TRENTON) – Assembly Education Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Monday after The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the federal government rejected New Jersey’s application for $14 million in charter school aid:

“Regrettably, one can only conclude that Gov. Christie does not consider the education of our children to be a top priority.
“This administration has raided school surplus funds, cut state aid for schools, botched the $400 million Race to the Top application, attempted to vilify teachers, failed to name a new education commissioner and failed to fill the statutorily mandated position of Secretary of Higher Education.
“Now New Jersey taxpayers and children have lost out on $14 million in federal charter school aid.
“This disturbing pattern must come to an end.
“I urge the governor to reach out for help from those experienced in the process of education. The governor’s refusal to work with others may get him headlines, but it’s destroying education in the state of New Jersey.
“As the Assembly Education Committee chairman, I expect a full explanation from the administration. Quite simply, the governor cannot continue to treat education so carelessly.”