Christie proposes longer school day amid scandal

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides.

In excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press, the early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically.

Christie hopes to regain his footing after being shaken by revelations that staff members orchestrated massive traffic backups near the George Washington Bridge in an apparent political vendetta against a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie.

The proposal could antagonize the powerful public teachers union, which has clashed with Christie over tenure reforms.

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