NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer released this statement following Gov. Christie’s rambling press conference this morning in which the governor continued to duck responsibility for his educational failures and unwillingness to do his job.
“Chris Christie can’t help himself. His reflexive attacks on public schools are just the same political posturing that he’s used for nearly seven years to cover up for his failed policies and underfunding of New Jersey’s public schools.
“His attempt to pit urban communities against suburban communities is politics in its lowest form. His school funding scheme is nothing but a ploy to force students in urban districts to subsidize tax cuts for suburban homeowners, while crippling urban schools. Among the bad things he’s proposed, that scheme stands out for its heartless cruelty. That’s why NJEA will never stop standing up for every student in every public school. We refuse to allow children to be used as his political pawns.
“Chris Christie’s obsessive focus on NJEA shows that we are making a difference. We are proud that our advocacy is so threatening to Chris Christie. Every time he resorts to name calling and fact-free attacks, it just reaffirms our commitment to pursue our vision for great public schools for every child in New Jersey.
“The truth is that New Jersey’s public schools, with their workforce of dedicated, unionized professionals, are among the very best in America. Despite Christie’s constant attacks, our members have never backed down from their commitment to excellence, because that’s what our students deserve. His fear of unions simply isn’t backed up by fact or experience.
“Chris Christie also continues to mislead the people of New Jersey about his ongoing manipulation of the School Employees’ Health Benefits Commission. He refuses to appoint a labor member to fill a vacancy that has existed for over a year, and he’s attempting to use the resulting imbalance to force through a change without appropriate review. His refusal to do his job is inexcusable. We look forward to making our case in court tomorrow.”