New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is urging teachers to voluntarily be back in the classroom next week on their cancelled convention days.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

He told a news conference Thursday he prefers not to have to invoke emergency powers and order them to be in the classroom Nov. 8 and 9. But he also said he "would not hesitate to do what needed to be done to help our children get the education they need."

The New Jersey Education Association announced Thursday that it is canceling the event for the first time in 158 years because of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The convention was to be held in Atlantic City.

Teachers are entitled to the days off. But Christie said these are "extraordinary circumstances" and students have missed too many days already.

The teacher's union says some districts have decided not to hold classes those days because significant numbers of parents and children have made plans to be away those days.

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