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Hearings to Probe Stalled School Projects

School construction
Erich Ferdinand, Flickr

Democratic Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, said he plans to hold investigative hearings next month on the lack of progress with the state’s Schools Development Authority.

Under Governor Chris Christie, the SDA has not started a school construction project.

“We are now at the midway point of the Christie Administration,” said Diegnan. “It’s beyond explanation at this particular point.”

Not only is the clock ticking, according to Diegnan, but so is the cash register.

“It’s costing 50-million dollars a year. That’s the approximate overhead of all the employees and the fixed costs of the SDA. So we’re paying 50-million dollars a year for nothing,” he said.

According to the Authority and the Christie Administration, changes are still being made to how building projects are being evaluated, and the proper transparency and controls must still be put in place.

“(Governor Christie) said he wanted to take a look at it…but heck, it’s been two years and a few roofs have been done,” Diegnan cried.

He said if it’s the intention of the Governor and the SDA to not build any more schools, then just shut down the operation.

There are no set dates for the proposed hearings. SDA CEO Marc Larkins will be asked to speak before the committee.

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