Steven Malanga of the City Journal explains in the New York Post how NJ's public-school enrollment has risen since 2001 by 3% but total school hiring has risen by 14%; that health and pension costs have risen by 115% in the same period; that there's been little educational pay-off; and that Christie’s cuts are “the only way to bring spending back in line.”
Don't miss “The Real Race Begins: Lessons from the First Round of Race to the Top," out this week from The New Teacher Project.
In the Lobby cites the statistics that 98% of teacher unions in NJ have chosen not to reopen contracts (so far) and thus “chose salary increases over the chance to save members jobs...So, ultimately, who’s responsible for layoffs in these districts?”
The Asbury Press Editorial Board chastises NJEA leadership for refusing to accept pay freezes: "The teachers' intransigence is a disgrace...Teachers around the state would do well to get on board — for their own sake, for the sake of taxpayers and, dare it be said, for the sake of the children."
The Star-Ledger Editorial Board says that Gov. Christie’s request for voluntary teacher pay freezes is a “historic opportunity for NJ school districts and the NJEA to rethink and renegotiate their basic contract,” specifically the inclusion of rewards for improved student outcomes: "The time has come for performance pay" and the Gov. should require districts to include merit pay in contracts by 2011.
Teachers and students in Somerset County lined Route 206 to protest Gov. Christie’s school aid cuts.
Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, argues at New Jersey Newsroom that NJ’s school funding is “lunacy,” specifically our method of “adjustment aid, now hardwired into the state’s funding formula,” and the fact that the “majority of school boards lack common sense.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer has its annual Report Card up on area schools, which includes NJ’s Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties.
The Star-Ledger says we should move school elections to November: "Please. Debating property taxes and school spending has never been an exercise in warm and cuddly. This is as political as it gets."