You’re tired of the governor’s near constant attacks on NJEA, educators, public employees, unions and equitable school funding.
You’re tired of the headlines, the radio broadcasts, the Facebook posts and the tweets telling you that the governor has done it again. He’s gone back to his same-old, played-out, tired tactic of blaming NJEA and its members for the state’s ills.
But with approval ratings hovering around 26 percent, it’s clear that most of the state residents aren’t buying it.
Nor should they. After seven years of Gov. Chris Christie’s leadership, he owns the condition the state is in today.
And what does our state look like? After seven years:
- Are taxes lower?
- Are roads better?
- Are community colleges and state universities more affordable for students?
- Are cities cleaner or safer?
- Are small businesses thriving?
- Are working families flourishing?
The fact is, his policies are running this state into the ground, fiscally, socially and environmentally.
Christie is running so hard from his record in New Jersey that he’s spent most of the past two years out of state chasing the presidency or supporting a candidate whose impact on New Jersey has been almost as bad as Christie’s. Just take a look at the Atlantic City skyline when you arrive for the NJEA Convention in November to see the fallout from Donald Trump’s foray in that city.
But instead of owning up to his failures over the past seven years, Christie wants to divide NJEA members from their union, even though NJEA members ARE the union.
There’s been a lot of speculation about why Christie finds it so appealing to attack NJEA and its members. Quite honestly, for a time, his strategy worked for him. Early in his first term, Christie surged in national popularity by demonizing public employees, and particularly NJEA members. It didn’t seem to matter at first that his attacks were full of lies.
They loved him in the right-wing media, so he kept right on lying. Here at home, though, we’ve have to deal with the fallout of his scorched-earth approach to governing.
We have to deal with the repercussions on class sizes, programs and student services when his policies led to the retirement or layoff of 10,000 public school employees in 2010.
We have to deal with the economic impact of Chapter 78 and the fact that year after year, hard-working New Jersey taxpayers take home less money than the year before.
We have to deal with the outrageous, corporate-driven testing agenda that steals countless hours of real learning opportunities from children and teaching opportunities from educators.
We have had to deal with education commissioners who implement even more testing on students, and require higher percentages for evaluation until they leave government work to take lucrative jobs with the same corporate education interests that benefited from their policies.
We have to deal with drastic changes to our retiree pensions and health benefits as the cost-of-living adjustment was frozen and as the governor attempts to stack the School Employees Health Benefits Commission so he can force through changes that could hurt retirees.
We have fought, and fought, and fought against a tsunami of bad ideas, corporate raids, and outright attacks on public education.
Through it all, we are still here, and the tide is starting to turn. Christie has lost the support of voters, editorial page writers and the political power players whose approval he craves so badly. So he goes back to the same tired playbook, hoping that if he’s insulting and outrageous enough people will forget his record. These days, though, people aren’t fooled.
Because all the evidence anyone needs to see that NJEA has been more beneficial than the governor to the state’s residents is to look at our results. Despite his constant attacks on teachers, NJEA and public education, our schools are still among the best in the nation. Despite his claims to the contrary, our students learning and succeeding because of the work we continue to do.
Christie has led the state into the economic tank and the only people who have benefited from his administration have been corporations and the wealthy. That’s why every poll shows much higher approval for NJEA and its dedicated members than for Chris Christie and his politics of destruction.
NJEA has been a vital part of the state’s education system since 1853 and have helped to build and sustain the best system of public education in the nation.
We’ll stake our record against the governor’s any day.
Because all the evidence anyone needs to see that NJEA has been more beneficial than the governor to the state’s residents is to look at our results. Despite his constant attacks on teachers, NJEA and public education, our schools are still among the best in the nation.