Just in case you were wondering. And there is no better place to examine the real Republican id than at the state and local levels, aka the meth labs of democracy.
You see, the new civil rights issue of our time is making sure well-funded suburban–and mostly white–schools get even more money (boldface mine):
On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a speech that sounded commonsensical. “No child in this state is worth more state aid than another,” he said. He suggested equalizing per-student education funding across New Jersey so every public school, whether in a suburb or city, receives $6,599 in state aid per child. “Every child has potential. Every child has goals. Every child has dreams. No child’s dreams are less worthy than any others,” Christie said.
This might sound like a civil rights speech—a plea to provide more opportunities to the neediest kids. In fact, if enacted, Christie’s proposal would amount to a huge giveaway to the children and families who are already thriving in New Jersey while hurting the kids who most need a leg up. With this plan, the governor hopes to lower taxes and end a state program that sends extra money to schools that educate at-risk children. Lest you have any doubt about whom Christie is trying to protect with his “equalization” plan, consider the fact that although his proposal would cut supplemental funding for poor children and English language learners, it would continue to send extra money to children with learning disabilities—a group, unlike the other two, that is majority white.
Here’s how Christie’s proposal would work in practice: Hillsborough Township, the leafy suburb where he delivered his speech, is 78 percent white, 8 percent Latino, and 5 percent black. Its education funding would increase by 86 percent under Christie’s plan. In high-poverty Newark, which is 84 percent black and Latino, funding would decrease by a devastating 69 percent.
Put another way (boldface mine):
He proposes a flat rate of aid in the area of $6,599 for every student in New Jersey whether they live in leafy, affluent Montgomery Township or cash strapped, property tax poor Camden. This “every one gets the same money plan” would provide a windfall to wealthy districts, many of which would see a dramatic increase in state aid to schools (and a reduction in property taxes) and conversely a death sentence to urban districts who would see their budgets reduced by tens of millions of dollars…
It is, of course, clear that impoverished urban areas need more money to provide a decent education to children hobbled by the impact of poverty, poor nutrition, poor health care, high crime rates and unemployment. Recognition of this is what made New Jersey a national leader in providing extra resources to urban schools through the Abbott decisions of three decades ago. Christie says that the urban schools are getting the extra money, but are under-performing. He should know since for the last six years many of those districts have been under his control and he has failed at every turn to make improvements. So, he has determined that they should not get the money. But as Tom Moran of the Star Ledger points out the truth is much more nuanced. Some urban districts are doing well and others do well when compared to urban districts in other states.
This is such an awful plan even education ‘reformers’ are appalled by it.
But it’s all about the kids, the well-to-do white ones anyway.
Ah, just another version of the Anatole France observation that rich and poor alike are forbidden to sleep under bridges – Egalite’!