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(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement after The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the federal government rejected New Jersey’s application for $14 million in charter school aid:

“This is beyond disappointing and another major setback for New Jersey’s education system under Gov. Christie.
“It was bad enough that New Jersey missed out on $400 million in federal funding through the administration’s bungled Race to the Top application, but now we miss out on $14 million for our charter schools because of another botched application.
“This is stunning, but also sadly another indication of the lackadaisical approach this administration has toward educating children.
“I don’t want to hear any excuses this time, either. Since this federal program was launched in 1995, New Jersey has won four awards, including $6.2 million in 2006. This should have been a routine application.
“The bottom line appears to be this – the Christie administration again dropped the ball and submitted a very sketchy, thrown-together application. New Jersey taxpayers and children will once again pay the price.
“The people of New Jersey deserve a complete and thorough explanation from this governor as to how this application was botched and what, if anything, is being done to ensure this does not happen yet again. We will be watching closely for that explanation.
“Education is not a game. Federal funding is not loose change. New Jersey and its future deserve better than what they’re getting from Gov. Christie.”