NJ Supreme Court orders state to give schools more

By the Associated Press | May 24, 2011 | 10:14 AM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Supreme Court has rebuked Gov. Chris Christie and ordered the state to increase spending on poor schools by an estimated $500 million.

The 3-2 ruling came Tuesday in a long-running court battle over funding for the state's poorest schools.

The court has consistently ruled the state needs to do more for a group of its poorest school districts. But Christie and his administration argued the state can't afford to pay more.

Christie has warned that ordering the state to give more to schools could mean dire consequences for other government spending — such as aid to hospitals.

The court did not order the state to add up to $1.7 billion to the school subsidies, as Christie had said he feared. More must go only to low-income districts.