Christie fires DOE commissioner
TRENTON (Aug. 27, 2010, 1:25 p.m.) — Governor Chris Christie has fired Bret Schundler, the commissioner of the state Department of Education, according to an official press release sent today, Aug. 27. The firing came after New Jersey missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding in the “Race to the Top” educational initiative, a competitive grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Originally, Christie said the loss of funding was due to a clerical error on one page in a 300-page application. Schundler said he corrected the information in a presentation to “Race to the Top” officials.
“Commissioner Schundler gave them the ’08 and ’09 numbers two weeks before the decision was made,” Christie said earlier this week. “And the ’08-’09 comparison supports us getting the full number of points under that. This is the stuff, candidly, that drives people crazy about government and crazy about Washington.”
However, after viewing a videotape of that meeting, Christie said Schundler’s story does not match up.
“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,” the governor said. “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.”
The mistake on the application involved an analysis of education numbers from 2008 to 2009, according to an official transcript provided by the governor’s office. Schundler and his staff submitted the wrong information by offering 2010 and 2011 numbers. The mistake resulted in a point reduction and New Jersey placed right out of the eligibility for the much-needed federal funds.
Call John at 201-438-8700