Governor Christie And NJEA Make Peace For A Day [VIDEO]
For years, Governor Christie has been feuding with the NJEA, but at least for a day, he's buried the hatchet.
During a signing ceremony for legislation that dramatically shortens the time and cost for removing ineffective teachers, Governor Christie said, "People can have passionate feelings about issues of extraordinary public importance and express those points of view publicly, and then decide when we have a moment where we can actually get something done that will put aside whatever anger or fear that may have been generated by some of those public statements…Yeah there have been lots of words exchanged, lots of difficult words exchanged, but I thank them for their efforts because they were as I was, willing to put that aside, in order to get something productive done for the people of this state on a subject we both care passionately about."
He said, "The agreement keeps everybody focused on what's most important…are the children sitting in that classroom improving and growing and getting better."
Christie added, "It's important to develop a sense of patience because things never happen as quickly as I'd like them to happen…On the other hand, you can't allow that to develop into complacency. So, the balance is for me to say how do I continue to push in a positive and appropriate way - to be able to make change happen, but on the other hand make sure that I show the amount of patience that's necessary- I'm happy that we're making progress."
Barbara Keshishian, the President of the NJEA, said, "We were very happy to be a part of the whole discussion regarding tenure reform because we know important this issue is and how important it has been…We were certainly glad to have a seat at the table and to be able to express from the education point of view the importance of some of the points that made it into the bill."
She also said, "I would hope that this would be a step in the right direction - we certainly don't want to have a battle with words…What we want to do is continue to work cooperatively on issues that involve our public schools and public education in the state of New Jersey."
Keshishian added, "The bill maintains the due process rights of teachers, and their rights of fair dismissal, so it gives them protection from any unfair dismissal processes, like political involvement or nepotism…And moving forward we're willing to sit down and have discussions about any of the issues that are on the table."
Courtesy Governor's Office