Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NJ Governor Chris Christie's Battle with Education

If you're not from New Jersey, you might not be following what's been going on with Governor Chris Christie's cuts to education. He has proposed $800+ Million in cuts to education in his '11 budget and has asked teachers to take wage freezes. NJ voters recently voted on the school budgets for their districts, and the governor encouraged people to vote down budgets in areas where teachers refused to take wage freezes. 59% of school budgets in New Jersey were voted down.

To put it frankly, all of this is really pissing me off. I'm sick of politicians not caring about education. Yes, New Jersey is overtaxed. But seriously, do we have to destroy public education in order to get tax cuts? In case you were wondering, Christie's kids attend private, Catholic schools.

Not only has Christie waged a war on teachers financially, he's made it personal. Recently, students in Monroe school district were asked to complete a civics lesson on voter participation. The students were instructed to ask IF their parents planned to participate in voting concerning school budgets. The questionnaire wasn't asking HOW they were going to vote. I remember having to ask my parents if they were planning on voting in both budget matters and in presidential elections throughout k-12 grade. As far as I know, no one took offense to it.

Enter Chris Christie.

The following is an excerpt from this news article:

"'These are the typical kind of scare tactics that they involve themselves in,' Christie said about the 200,000-member New Jersey Education Association, which has been critical of his proposed $820 million cut in school aid. 'Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory 'Project Democracy Homework' asking your parents about what they're going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible.'

Steve Wollmer, a spokesman for the NJEA, said a third-grade teacher in Monroe distributed the homework as part of a civics lesson on voter participation, and it had nothing to do with how parents would vote.

'It's just astounding that a governor who just spent a week telling people how to vote would be upset at a teacher for just wondering if people are going to vote,' Wollmer said."

Um, what? Drug mules?

Apparently in the anti-teacher wave that's been sweeping the state, New Jersey teachers are becoming afraid to tell people their profession. I talked to a teacher from New Jersey (trying to let the individual remain anonymous here) who is retiring who said that she's going to be afraid to tell people that she's a retired school teacher. And, sadly, I don't think that she was joking.

I always thought being a teacher was a respectable position. But I guess Chris Christie would disagree with me.


  1. This sounds pretty terrible-- but tell me about it, California is probably the one state in the US that's pretty much dug itself in one of the deepest graves in financial terms. Everything we've cut is education especially the public school system but that guy sounds pretty menacing in NJ.

    we still have ahnold.


  2. Ugh, yeah, I heard about the education cuts in California. They're awful too.

    Seriously, can states just stop screwing over their schools?

  3. honestly, aren't there other things that can be cut other than education (which should be one of our first priority, in my opinion).

  4. I know, out of all of the areas to cut! I definitely think education needs to be a top priority.

  5. There are totally other things they could cut. And I definitely think education needs to be a top priority.