Sunday Leftovers

Isn't there something atonal about NJEA President Barbara Keshishian rallying teachers with the soundbite that Gov. Christie is trying to start a "middle-class civil war" between private workers and public workers? After all, she makes $263,000 a year plus benefits -- hardly middle-class -- and used the line while handing over a portion of other teachers' union dues to the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.

Bob Ingle
says that during the labor union rally Senate President State Sweeney told the editorial board from the Home News Tribune that he thinks that resolutions on health and pension benefits could be reached by April.

While Gov. Christie claimed in his budget address that he was increasing aid to charter schools by 50%, says NJ Spotlight, it’s not all sunny news. In fact, the extra $13 million is “less that 5 percent of the total funding for charter schools." To add insult to injury, most of that new money will go to new charter students, there is still no facilities funding, and there's no change in the formula that allows traditional public schools to keep at least 10% of the funding intended for students who transfer to public charter schools.

Newark Mess: Hoping-to-be-Commissioner Cerf is still getting nailed in the press for having founded Global Education Advisors, the company that performed a charter school study study on Newark that got leaked to the Star-Ledger. (Here's an interview he gave right afterwards.) Before operating Global, reports PolitickerNJ, Cerf ran a company called Sangari Education, which was founded by his brother Randy Cerf. Randy, however, has never heard of Global, even though the guy now running that company, Rajeev Bajaj, also serves as president of Sangari. Families!

Newark school board politics have always been a contact sport, and the tradition continues. South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka (who is principal of a failing Newark high school in his spare time) is backing one slate of candidates called Children’s First Team, and Steve Adubato is backing the For Our Kids slate. PolitickerNJ has the deets, including the awkward positioning required on the part of Newark Advisory School Board President Shavar Jeffries.

SFRA Update: we’re now two weeks into testimony on whether last year’s state school aid cuts violated the School Funding Reform Act by taking too much money away from poor districts. The Record reports that a former DOE staffer testified that 205 of our 560 regular districts are spending less money than that which is deemed “adequate,” though some are spending more. If the current funding level was distributed differently, then there would be enough to bring all districts up to adequacy.

Mike Kelly in The Record questions the relevance of teacher unions.

If the Parsippany-Troy Hills school board doesn’t rescind Superintendent LeRoy Seitz’s $225K salary – way above cap – the DOE will withhold the district’s school aid, reports the Star-Ledger. One member of the board has been trying to follow through, but the president of the board keeps blocking his motion.

Don't miss the new report out from The New Teacher Project, "The Case Against Quality-Blind Lay-offs."