Tuesday, January 19, 2010

N.J. Gov.-elect Christie targets teachers' union with Schundler appointment

The unions are on the run in NJ as well:

But for the teachers union, Christie is sharpening his spear to an even finer point.

Christie wants merit pay for teachers. He wants many more charter schools. He wants to use tax dollars for private school scholarships, a voucher plan with a fig leaf disguise. And he wants teachers, like cops and firefighters, to agree to lower salaries and skimpier benefits or face layoffs.

"I'm on the side of kids and parents in this state who want better education, especially in our urban areas," Christie says. "I'm tired of people who are protecting only their parochial interests. This is a fight I will not shy away from."

For the teachers union, the 200,000-strong New Jersey Education Association, Christie's agenda reads like a nightmare. They have fought each of these reforms for years in Trenton, winning every round. They were the big dog in the capitol, and both parties learned to obey.

But things are changing. Many Democrats, including President Obama, favor merit pay and expansion of charter schools. And because urban schools are still struggling, a growing number of black Democrats in New Jersey favor school vouchers, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and the Rev. Reginald Jackson, head of the Black Minister's Council.


N.J. Gov.-elect Christie targets teachers' union with Schundler appointment

By Tom Moran/ The Star-Ledger

January 13, 2010, 10:00PM


TRENTON -- Sitting in his transition office a few blocks from the state capitol in Trenton, Chris Christie was in full battle mode today, like a boxer who couldn't wait to climb into the ring and start pounding away. In fact, he wasn't waiting.

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