Perhaps New Jersey should spend whatever public school funding they have on making sure their next generation of leaders understands how to read directions, because the current leaders' inability to do so kept them from winning a $400 million federal education grant. The state received no points in one section of the application because instead of submitting budget figures for 2008 and 2009, the Garden State provided them for 2010 and 2011. The section was worth 4.8 points; the money went to Ohio, which beat NJ by 3 points.

NJ.com has a copy of the 260 page application, and the questions which asked the states to provide "the percentage of the total revenues available to the State (as defined in this notice) that were used to support elementary, secondary, and public higher education" for the fiscal years of 2008 and 2009. New Jersey began their answer by saying, "In fiscal year 2011, despite huge budget strains, the Governor is proposing an increase in state revenue-based support for education by 2.2% ($238 million)." However, the state answered the question correctly during the first round of applications. State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver called the mistake “a stunning mistake that is going to hurt New Jersey’s children."

In other news, New York did win $700 million in education funding, presumably because we read the directions.