NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer released this statement to challenge Gov. Christie’s misleading statements about public charter schools and pension funding in today’s State of the State address:
“Gov. Christie should tell the truth about his charter school agenda. He’s not trying to make New Jersey’s public charter schools more innovative or more effective. He’s trying to make them less accountable. That’s why he met with leaders of the charter school lobby to get their deregulation wish list and is leaning on the State Board of Education to lower basic standards that should apply to all public schools. New Jersey residents deserve quality and accountability from their publicly funded schools. We should not create a special class of unaccountable schools with lower standards. That’s no way to serve the interests of students or families.
“Gov. Christie also continues to mislead New Jersey residents about his record on pension funding. He has repeatedly failed to meet even the minimum funding requirements of the law he signed. He likes to brag about the payments he’s made, but his legacy is the excuses he’s made for his abject failure in that area. Worse, by holding critical infrastructure projects hostage in order to get huge tax cuts for the very wealthiest people in the state, he’s made the problem even worse. Gov. Christie’s fiscal irresponsibility will haunt the state for many years to come.”
“While the state has many more problems that must also be addressed, we support efforts to address the pervasive problem of opioid abuse and addiction, including educating young people about the dangers of opioid abuse. As educators, nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing of our students and we care deeply about the communities where we live and work.”