Gov. Christie: Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad, It’s Good [POLL]
In his State of the State Address to the State legislature on January 11, Governor Chris Christie set some very ambitious goals. Yesterday, Christie was a guest with Eric Scott on Townsquare Media's NJ 101.5 FM. In the interview the Governor made it clear that he thinks he's had a very good year.
"When we started the year, in my State of the State Address in 2011 we said that there were three big things that we wanted to work on," explained Christie. "We wanted to get (public employee) pension and (health) benefit reform and that we wanted to keep control of our budget and that we wanted to do education reform…..Well, we got two out of three. If I were hitting .667 in Major League Baseball I'd be in the Hall of Fame."
In June, in step with finalizing the State Budget the legislature also passed and the Governor signed landmark pension and health care reform. Christie and top Democratic leaders have yet to come to an agreement on the education piece of the puzzle, but Christie's not concerned.
"I feel relatively comfortable with the idea that we're going to get some movement in the first quarter of 2012 on a lot of these education reforms," says Christie.
The Governor says he's been in talks with State Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and their staffs on the issue.
Christie wants to implement merit pay for teachers, take away some of the job protections provided by tenure and to use publicly funded scholarships to send children in failing public schools to private schools. None of those measures has picked up much traction in the Legislature. Sweeney is opposed to the merit pay proposal.
On average, New Jersey's schools are considered among the best in the nation, but test scores and graduation rates in several cities lag despite heavy state spending in those areas.