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GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: LESNIAK BILL FIRST STEP TO SCHOOL VOUCHERS ACROSS NEW JERSEY

Newark NJ -- June 23, 2010

Governor Christopher Christie yesterday made clear that any further restrictions on private school vouchers in Senator Raymond Lesniak's voucher bill (S1872) are unacceptable.

The Governor repeated a pledge made in early May to a pro-voucher crowd in Washington, D.C.: the Lesniak voucher bill is just the first step in the Governor's extreme agenda to remove tax dollars from public schools and then use those dollars to subsidize private and religious schools all across the state.

The Governor's critical reaction to the announcement that Senator Lesniak will once again rewrite the voucher bill is to be expected. The Governor has been unwavering in his plan to divert scarce public funds to private school vouchers while cutting over $1 billion in aid to public schools in his FY2011 Budget.

More surprising is the Senator's last ditch attempt to change the bill in the face of overwhelming public opposition to any scheme to divert public money to unaccountable private and religious schools. Opposition to the voucher bill is stiffening in the Legislature as well, as lawmakers grasp how this bill will cause serious and irreparable damage to New Jersey's public schools.

"The Governor's latest comments should put to rest any doubt that the Lesniak voucher bill is the start of a massive statewide program that would break up our system of public education," said Dr. Lauren Hill, ELC Program Director.

Dr. Hill added: "This is a clear assault on NJ public schools, which are recognized as among the best in the nation. Parents, students, educators and all those committed to keeping our public schools strong and equitable need to oppose this harmful bill. Let's make sure New Jersey stays voucher-free."

Education Law Center Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Policy & Outreach Coordinator
email: skrengel@edlawcenter.org
voice: 973 624-1815 x24