Christie Says Education Reform Measures Are Moving Forward [AUDIO]
Earlier this Fall, Governor Christie announced education reform was his top priority for the rest of this year, and he demanded the Legislature pass a series of education reform measures that he proposed.
Since then nothing has happened…or has it?
While the Assembly and Senate has not passed any of the legislation the Governor has put forth, he says State Senator Teresa Ruiz - who chairs the Senate Education Committee "has been working with all of the interested groups - the administration, the teachers union, the school boards association, to try to come up with a tenure reform bill that she believes will be effective, pass muster in the Legislature and would get the signature of the Governor -
there's a lot of behind the scenes work going on, between the administration and Senator Ruiz, and Senator Ruiz and other constituencies that are helping to get us very close…we're trying to get to a point where we all agree on something - if that happens in the next week or two, maybe we can get some action in the Senate- that will at least be an indicator of support for the concept."
The Governor says while it would be nice to get things done quickly:
"Let's remember the lame-duck session in this instance is an artificial deadline - because we're not having a change in Governors, we're not having a change of majorities in the Legislature…I never thought that all of these education reform proposals would get done by the end of the year…we have merit pay to consider, tenure reform to consider, opportunity scholarship act to consider, charter school reform to consider - I didn't think all of that was going to get done in the next few weeks…what I'm trying to do is push that - continue to push that to the front of the agenda, so that whether some of it's done in lame-duck, and some is done in the new session of the legislature, that we keep talking about those issues and we push them forward."
Christie adds "if I can use the lame-duck period as a time to put some pressure on folks and let's try to get things moving- great - and if I don't -I'm not going anywhere…I don't set up expectations for myself because I like to be surprised, and I don't like to be disappointed… the devil is in the details - what can we get people to agree on? What's the Senate President willing to post, what's the Assembly Speaker willing to post, what are the education Chairs willing to do? We're working on it- we'll get there."