Clerical error ensures New Jersey loses $400 million in education funding

This “Race to the Top” thing is totally stupid. From what I remember, Connecticut failed to get an application in on time and lost out, now New Jersey inserts 2008 budget numbers into a binder – instead of the required 2010 numbers – and they miss out [oh well] on $400 million?

Update (Steve): Yeah, I put $400k in the headline and I thought that was bad enough! Turns out it really is $400 million! It’s so much worse than I thought… There are about 1.7 million kids in New Jersey between the ages of 5 and 18. Assuming all of them are in public school (they are not) that’s $235 per kid.

This type of funding from the federal government towards local education funding is totally unconstitutional, but since the job descriptions of politicians start with the phrase “get as much cash as possible from other districts and states” what can we expect?

This is another symptom of the disease readers!

What part of creating some sort of competition – measured exclusively by who you know and how good your team is at begging for cash – falls into the “support the [national] general welfare” clause of the Constitution? None of it!

I’d certainly blame the administrators in New Jersey for screwing up the application, but Gov. Chris Christie has a point concerning the administration of the program and those bureaucrats who are reviewing the applications. From what it looks like, the application process is paper based, it’s not like the state officials are sitting there entering numbers into a web-based form or anything. Looks to me that there was some sort of proposal binder with a tab and instructions that said “insert 2010 budget numbers here” and by mistake, they inserted one incorrect sheet – out of more than 1,000 – that had 2008 numbers instead of 2010 numbers.

From Cubachi, with a hat tip to AP at Hot Air. The original article is on

Christie slapped two thick three-ringed binders on the podium containing more than 1,000 pages of the state’s “Race to the Top” application and appendices, noting that just one piece of paper contained the error.

“The first part of it is the mistake of putting the wrong piece of paper in,” Christie said. “It drives people crazy and, believe me, I’m not thrilled about it. But the second part is, does anybody in Washington, D.C. have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number.”

Could the federal bureaucrats not see at the very top of the budget table these were 2008 numbers and not 2010 numbers?

“That’s the stuff the Obama administration should answer for. Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones, or are you thinking?” said Christie. “When the president comes back to New Jersey, he’s going to have to explain to the people of the state of New Jersey why he’s depriving them of $400 million that this application earned.”

We’ll come on governor, you’ve been a thorn in the side of the unions, liberals and progressives across the country, do you really think someone in the federal Department of Education would step up and point out the mistake in your application? Maybe they quietly chuckled and moved on to the next page…

“We’ll take the responsibility we need to take for putting one wrong piece of paper in a thousand page application,” he said. “If you want to take shots, take shots at me.”

And video of course…


UPDATE (Jim): I’ll take one of these please!

12 replies
  1. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Government bureaucracy=proliferation of nonsense=proliferation of government employees.

    This is always the case. There is nothing the federal gov't does efficiently and I was convinced a long time ago that it is all done deliberately.

      This should surprise no one.

  2. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    Hmmm, how'd that piece of paper get in there?

    Sounds similar to my experience with the furnace rebate fiasco last year.  My HVAC contractor informed me of the $1500 federal rebate and the Connecticut $500 if we replace/update our home's 50 year old furnace.  So, after the $8,800 we spent on the new system we applied for the federal rebate only to be told we make too much money.  (we are by noooo means wealthy. Our gov'ts fine print at its 'best'.)  So, we applied for the states rebate with it's 35 pages of forms, signed, SS number, notarized…but, not for the $500 but, only $300 because it too was according to income.  I receive in the mail weeks later an envelope from the state.  Excitedly I open it expecting a nice check for $300 but, nooooo, a boiler-plate letter stating the state has run out of money for this program and that I am SOL!


    Listen folks, the government can't wipe its own backside much less run any program.  Get them out of our work, our wallets, our lives.  I will never-ever trust another government incentive program again.  They are liars and thieves.

    • winnie888
      winnie888 says:

      Do we really have to start applying "caveat emptor" to government clean energy rebates?  Or shall we all just become cynical and apply the following: "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is"?

      "you get what you pay for"?  no, that doesn't work in this situation…

      I KNOW!  Murphy's Law!  "If something can go wrong it will"!!!!  And sadly for you, NH-Jim, it did.  I'm sorry you got screwed, buddy.  That is just not cool.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    If it was really about the children, NJ would have the money right now, particularly since both NJ and the feds caught the error before the awards.  I am sure it has nothing to do with Christie making the feds look like the fools they are.  After the fact anyway.


    What a shame the feds aren't so scrupulous about their own projections and living within their budgets.  Or even so scrupulous about paying their own taxes.  But that is them, this is us.

  4. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Considering all of the money the Soetoro Administration doled out in buying votes for it's healthcare bill, I think this oversight was purely spite!


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