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Christie vs Buono Election Pits School Choice against the NJEA

(FILE PHOTO) School-Voucher Program Supporters

Christie vs Buono Election Pits School Choice against the NJEA
November 4, 2013
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, One issue playing an very significant role just blow the surface  to this gubernatorial election between Gov. Chris Christie and  Democratic candidate rival for governor Barbara Buono  is education reform .

So far the only people that seem keenly aware of this is the NJEA with its over the top support for Democratic candidate Barbara Buono . While the press has simply ignored the issue Bruono and the teachers union have campaigned vigoriously .

A comparison on educational positions between Republican Governor Christie and Democratic candidate for governor state Sen. Barbara Buono show a stark difference on educational policy.

According to the Bergen record Christie and Buono have nearly opposite views when it comes to education – especially on school funding, vouchers and preschool. Indeed, the governor has long sparred with the state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, while Buono has been warmly supported by it.

Christie: The governor wants to give companies tax credits for helping low-income families pay for private tuitions. He argues children trapped in failing schools deserve better choices and competition will improve traditional district options.

He bolstered total state aid for education to a record $12.4 billion this year. But direct aid to districts, known as formula aid, is $7.85 billion – and some district leaders say they have barely climbed back to prerecession levels of state aid in the wake of cuts Christie imposed in 2010 during the fiscal crisis.

Christie increased funding for free preschool slots for poor urban children slightly this year but did not expand the program to more districts despite previous state plans to do so.

He championed a new law that made it harder for teachers to earn and keep tenure and required more rigorous teacher evaluations.

In higher education, Christie had opposed the so-called Dream Act, which would allow in-state tuition rates at public colleges for students who were brought here illegally as children. He recently said in a debate that he would revisit the issue.

Buono: The state senator is against vouchers (educational choice for the poor) , saying they drain precious resources from traditional public schools (failed Abbott schools) . She has endorsed having some quality charters as labs for innovation but says they have been overemphasized by Christie; she wants local voters to approve any new charters.

As an author of the School Funding Reform Act  of 2008 (Abbott Schools) , Buono says she wants to fully fund the formula; the state has not allocated as much as the formula requires for aid to districts. She said accomplishing that goal would need to be phased in. Christie has tried to revise the formula to slightly trim extra aid for at-risk children.

Buono also wants to expand public preschool, full-day kindergarten and after-school enrichment programs.

Buono supports the Dream Act. She has also pledged to reform the system that makes higher-education funding subject to the vagaries of the state budgeting process.


By anyone’s standard out side public education the Abbott School districts has been a very expensive colossal  failure , and a prime reason property taxes are out of control making it absolutely essential for those looking to enhance educational opportunities to the poor to defeat the NJEA and Barbra Buono .

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