Chris Christie’s Education Reforms Get Big Backing In New Poll [AUDIO]
Even since before taking office and definitely since he's been Governor, Chris Christie's favorite punching bag has been the New Jersey Education Association although he is quick to praise good teachers.
A new Quinnipiac University poll today shows Garden State voters think Christie should stay the course on both fronts.
New Jersey voters approve 50 - 43 percent of the way Christie is handling education.
Poll Director Mickey Carroll says, "People like the kids' teachers, 57 percent to 25 percent they have a favorable opinion of teachers. Teachers union? Eh. 46 percent to 31 percent negative….They don't like the teachers union."
Christie gets huge support for his proposals to make it easier to fire bad teachers and reward good ones. Voters say 72 - 24 percent that merit pay for good teachers is a good idea and 60 percent say his proposal to limit teacher tenure is a good idea while 32 percent oppose the plan.
The Governor does not pitch a shutout in this survey. Voters oppose school vouchers 50 - 44 percent and they oppose expanding charter schools 52 - 41 percent.
Some of Christie's education reform initiatives could be challenged in the State Supreme Court if opponents believe it goes against past school funding decisions, but the survey shows New Jersey voters know little about issues surrounding the Governor's nomination of two Supreme Court judges.
"The appointment of two justices to the seven-member Supreme Court matters a lot, but most voters aren't interested," explains Carroll. "Political insiders, including pollsters, also are watching the Governor's potential squabble with the Bar Association. Again, most voters couldn't care less."
The following numbers bear out Carroll's statements. 69 percent say they have not read or heard about the nominations of Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris; asked if they approve of Kwon's nomination, 80 percent have no opinion; 81 percent have no opinion of Harris' nomination; and 62 percent have no opinion on whether the State Bar Association has too much influence over judicial appointments.
From February 21 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,396 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.