Schools Chief Admits NJ Mishandled Construction Process in Needy Districts

0002By John Mooney for NJ Spotlight

In a rare show of cooperation with one of its staunchest critics, the Christie administration has agreed with a legal challenge to the way the state Department of Education reviews and approves new school-construction projects in New Jersey’s neediest cities.

State Education Commissioner David Hespe this month sided with an administrative law judge’s recommendation that backed a challenge from the Education Law Center over the operations of Hespe’s own department.

The complaint filed in 2012 by the ELC, which has led the landmark Abbott v. Burke school-funding litigation, accused the department of failing to ensure that districts covered under the Abbott case completed required long-range facilities plans that would drive the construction projects.

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