Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Christie's Strategic Blunder

Prayers for an early death aside, Gov. Christie made an strategic blunder yesterday when he called on the public to vote down school budgets in the vast majority of districts where local unions have not accepted pleas for salary freezes. Bloomberg News reported yesterday that the Governor told reporters in Princeton, “I just don’t see how citizens should want to support a budget where teachers do not want to be a part of the shared sacrifice. That’s my view on it.”

Actually, the public doesn’t need any prodding. It’s likely that many school budgets will fail to pass a week from today and Christie’s incitement to cast a “no” vote just makes him seem churlish and vindictive. Far better that he remain silent and trust in the democratic process (not to mention unprecedented voter anger) to achieve the same result. Anyway, our bizarre process of voting on school budgets (instead of, say, municipal budgets) simply means that failed referenda will be thrust at non-educationally-literate members of town councils who will make some meek suggestions and throw the whole document back at school boards. Who came up with this anyway?

Meanwhile, NJEA President Barbara Keshishian met with Gov. Christie yesterday afternoon for about 15 minutes and, according to The Record, refused to fire Joe Coppola, the president of the Bergen County Education Association, who signed the memo that included the prayer to our Maker to grant a wish for our Governor’s early demise. Technically Keshishian can’t fire Coppola anyway – local associations vote annually for their presidents – though that’s not to say that such a process couldn’t be hustled along. It’s moot anyway. Gracious apology given; apology less graciously accepted. Christie could have looked a whole lot more magnanimous if he’d let it go while the NJEA “prayer” continues its cyberjourney across the country.

He’d also do himself a favor by retracting his suggestion to voters. It’s unnecessarily intrusive and just flat out unnecessary. NJEA’s leaders are doing a fine job on their own looking greedy and out of touch. They don’t need any help from Chris Christie.

1 comment:

An Educational Enthusiast said...

Not one official from the government to my knowledge has said what a teacher should earn.
This overpaid label is a stereotype, and like all of them they are hurtful.

Why not visit http://php.app.com/edstaff/search.php and search:

Cumberland County
Maurice River Township

We've got teachers that don't even earn 44k.

This isn't overpaid. They shouldn't be asked to take a salary freeze.

They shouldn't be asked to contribute to their benefit until their next contract.

The governor has been written by a teacher there, and has yet to receive a response from his office.

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If it's true that the governor hired a social networking person for 62k a year...I'd hope he'd think teachers should be earning at least that...
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To teachers that are earning less than 60k...you are underpaid. The unfortunate part is that for you to earn 60k your numbers may need to diminish...in which case your workload will increase and you still will remain underpaid.