New Jersey exists only to make other states feel better about themselves. Exhibit A: Seattle public schools have recently earned some well-deserved criticism for two application blunders that cost the city nearly $400,000 in federal funds. But that's a drop in the bucket compared with the minor rounding error that just cost New Jersey $400 million in "Race to the Top" money.
New Jersey missed the cut by 3 points, by the Education Department's scoring system. But for one response on page 261 of the lengthy application, the state was awarded 0.2 points out of 5. Why? The question asked for fiscal year 2008 and 2009 figures, and the New Jersey employee filling out the application responded with 2011 figures. Had they filled in the right year, the response would've likely earned 5 points, the application would've passed, and New Jersey would've received $400 million in education funding.That sound you hear is the guy who cost Seattle schools $82,000 because he missed a grant deadline high-fiving a co-worker and saying, "At least I didn't do that!"