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New Jersey to hold hearing about $400 million mistake

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • New Jersey submits the wrong information to get education money
  • The mistake costs the state $400 million in education funding
  • The fallout also leads to the firing of the state's education chief

AC360 investigates why New Jersey may have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in education funding tonight at 10 p.m. ET

(CNN) -- The New Jersey Assembly has called upon nearly everyone who might have had a hand on the failed application that cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in educating funding to testify at a hearing Tuesday.

On its application for a federal grant from the "Race to the Top" fund, the Garden State lost more than four points for providing budgetary data for 2010 and 2011 rather than 2008 and 2009.

That mistake cost the state $400 million in federal funding for public schools and also cost New Jersey's education chief his job.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced the firing of then Education Commissioner Bret Schundler last month.

And the fallout may not end there as the New Jersey General Assembly has called "individuals involved in the production and submission of the State's application" to a committee hearing Tuesday morning, according to the New Jersey legislature website.

After the mistake was made, Christie said that New Jersey had filed the right information to get the education money.

But then the U.S. Department of Education released a video of an August 11 meeting between federal officials and Schundler. The tape was at odds with Christie's claim.

"I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey," Christie said in a statement last moth. "As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler's service as New Jersey's Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration."

Had the correct information been filed, the state would have scored higher on its review than Ohio -- the tenth of 10 states to receive federal funding -- and thus, it would have received a share of the $3.6 billion up for grabs.

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