- A $430,000 education grant from the California-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation stipulating that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie must stay in office for the grant to remain valid has raised a few eyebrows in the Garden State.
- David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center in Newark (which forced the disclosure of the Broad Foundation grant's terms), called the stipulation "highly unusual" and "maybe precedent-setting," suggesting that an independent body, the Legislature or the state comptroller's office look into the relationship between the foundation and the state.
- Christie's office declined to comment, and state education department spokeswoman Barbara Morgan dismissed concerns, saying that all of the grant's funds would be spent prior to next year's gubernatorial election, while Broad Foundation Senior Communications Director Erica Lepping responded that the organization "consider(s) the presence of strong leaders to be important when we hand over our dollars."
From the article:
What passes for educational reform in New Jersey has relied heavily on private foundation money — millions from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, among others — and a common complaint of critics is that the public is rarely made aware of the conditions of those grants. One recent grant from a California-based foundation includes this unusual stipulation: Gov. Chris Christie must stay in office in New Jersey. ...