TRENTON - First there was the stick, now there is the carrot.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells The Associated Press he will offer more state aid to school districts whose teachers agree to a wage freeze for the 2011 fiscal year.

The offer won't cost the state any more money. It could afford school districts more money to offset steep cuts in aid next school year.

Under his proposed 2011 budget, school districts are losing state aid that equals up to 5 percent of their budgets. For many districts, that will mean layoffs and program reductions.

Christie is offering to give to districts all the money the state will save on Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes as a result of wage freezes.