NJ Voters Reject Majority of School Budgets

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    BERLIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Fourth-grade students read books in the elementary school at the John F. Kennedy Schule dual-language public school on September 18, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The German government will host a summit on education in Germany scheduled for mid-October in Dresden. Germany has consistantly fallen behind in recent years in comparison to other European countries in the Pisa education surveys, and Education Minister Annette Schavan is pushing for an 8 percent increase in the national educaiton budget for 2009. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    Voters in New Jersey have rejected a majority of school budgets for the first time in 34 years.

    According to early and unofficial results, voters turned down 138 of 256 budgets statewide Tuesday night. Voters have not
    defeated a majority of school budgets since 1976.

    The elections were particularly contentious this year because Gov. Chris Christie and the state's largest teachers union have
    been sparring over property taxes and the quality of education.

    Under Christie's proposed state budget, schools would get less money from the government. Most districts are planning layoffs and tax increases.

    Christie says layoffs can be avoided. He urged voters to reject budgets in schools where teachers have not agreed to have their
    salaries frozen and do not contribute to their health insurance premiums.

    Teachers union officials say the governor is a bully.