Governor Chris Christie and Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf visited Bordentown Regional High School today to call on the Legislature to pass education reform bills.

“This Administration has made a commitment to provide unprecedented levels of state education aid and now it is time for the legislature to advance the second piece of our comprehensive education reform agenda,” continued Governor Christie. “It’s time for them to act and pass education reform. New Jersey’s children can’t afford anything less than to see us reform the rules for teacher evaluation, tenure and compensation.”

The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget proposal provides $7.8 billion in K-12 formula aid, an increase of $135 million.  Bordentown Regional School District will receive an additional $536,229 in K-12 state aid, or an increase of 7.3% over Fiscal Year 2012.

Christie said we need to reform the tenure system, merit pay,  and have more school choice for parents in failing districts, as well as more charter schools.  He's pushing for a package of three bills:

School Children First Act: The bill would create a statewide educator evaluation system consistent with the goals of the Obama Administration, ties tenure to effectiveness, ends forced placements and Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) personnel policies by using both seniority and educator effectiveness in staffing decisions, and reforms compensation systems.

  • Charter Reform Bill : The bill provides critical updates to strengthen and improve New Jersey’s charter law. The bill increases the number of charter school authorizers, permits public schools to be converted to charter schools by local boards of education as well as the Department of Education Commissioner, and increases charter autonomy while making them more accountable.
  • Opportunity Scholarship Act : The bill would provide tax credits to entities contributing to scholarships for low-income students, broadening choice and educational options for children in some of New Jersey’s worst performing schools.

"We cannot wait any longer to act...and we are going to be emphasizing this over the next several months" said Christie.