Christie Fires New Jersey Education Commissioner Over Grant Gaffe

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christie-schunderNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced he is firing his education commissioner, days after it was revealed that a simple mistake on an application form might have cost the state a $400 million education grant.The dismissal of Commissioner Bret Schundler comes after New Jersey became the top runner-up for the Race to the Top grants, missing out by only a few points. The Star-Ledger of Newark later reported that budget figures for the wrong years were supplied in one section of the application.

Christie had defended Schundler on Wednesday, saying he gave the federal government the missing information during a meeting in Washington this week. But a video released Thursday by the federal Education Department shows that wasn’t the case.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey,” Christie said in a statement Friday. “As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration.”

Schundler, a former Jersey City mayor and gubernatorial candidate, is an outspoken proponent of educational reform and was an unconventional choice as a member of the governor’s cabinet.

There was tension between Schundler and Christie, both Republicans, earlier over the Race to the Top application. Schundler made compromises on the proposal to win the endorsement of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s main teachers union.

Christie rejected those compromises.

FULL STATEMENT FROM GOV. CHRISTIE:

“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey. As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration.

“As I have said before, I never promised the people of New Jersey that this would be a mistake-free administration. However, I did promise that the people serving in my administration would be held accountable for their actions. As I said on Wednesday, I am accountable for what occurs in my administration. I regret this mistake was made and will do all I can to have my administration avoid them in the future.”

{WABC/Matzav.com}

2 COMMENTS

  1. This article twists the facts.

    The truth is that he was fired for lying to Christie about correcting the error. He was not fired for making the error.

  2. Schundler wanted to be fired so he could collect unemployment. unbelievable, he’s a millionaire & he (GOP) wants unemployment!

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