TRENTON, N.J., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Friday fired Education Commissioner Bret Schundler, expressing "regret" for the state's failure to win a federal education grant.
The state lost out on a $400 million grant this week because its application contained incorrect financial information. What has been described as a clerical error resulted in the state falling short by three points and losing out to Ohio in the competition for federal funding under an Obama administration program called Race to the Top.
In defending his administration this week, Christie maintained Schundler had included correct information to federal officials reviewing the state's application. However, federal officials released video Thursday contradicting that assertion.
Schundler told The New York Times Christie's chief of staff, Richard H. Bagger, requested his resignation Thursday evening.
Christie issued a statement Friday saying he was "extremely disappointed to learn" the videotape "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."
"I regret this mistake was made and will do all I can to have my administration avoid them in the future," the statement said.
New Jersey's application contained budget figures for 2010 and 2011, rather than a comparison of figures for 2008 and 2009.