- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

FAIR LAWN, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie told residents in a northern New Jersey town Thursday that they’re getting “shafted every year” by the state’s school funding system as part of his push to change it.

Christie held a public forum at the Fair Lawn Senior Center to continue promoting his “Fairness Formula,” which he says could lower the town’s average property tax bill by $2,223.

“You deserve better than what you are getting,” Christie said. “I want folks in Fair Lawn who want to stay in Fair Lawn to be able to afford to stay in Fair Lawn.”

Christie wants to provide property tax relief by scrapping a state formula that goes back to a 1985 state Supreme Court ruling that requires a “thorough and efficient” education for 31 mostly urban, poorer school districts.

Under Christie’s plan, aid would be redistributed from the poorest districts to hundreds of other schools. New Jersey’s nearly 600 school districts would get $6,599 per pupil across the board.



Democrats who control the Legislature have criticized the plan as “unconstitutional” and “radical.”

Some mayors from towns that Christie says would see property tax relief have cheered the news. But many education advocates question the plan.

Christie said Thursday that he hopes the current state Supreme Court would agree with the changes. Lawmakers would have to approve a ballot referendum to let voters decide whether to make the change.

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