Sunday Leftovers

The state deadline for filing for school board candidacy is Monday. Here's the lowdown from New Jersey School Boards Association. Do it!

The rhetoric on N.J.'s broken pension system, $40 billion in debt, just keeps coming. Gov. Christie accused teacher union leaders (and state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto) of refusing to come to the table. From the Star-Ledger:
"I know they thought they were going to win a court case," said Christie. "They lost. And so they need now to get serious about reducing it. ... When the pension goes bankrupt — and I've told this to teachers' union members — they'll have only their selfish and greedy leaders to blame for it."
Christie then accused collective bargaining leaders of fearing a backlash from members that would cost them their highly compensated jobs.
"You know why they're not talking about it?" Christie said.
"They're not talking about it because they're afraid they won't get reelected to the head of the teacher's union. And who'd want to give a $250,000 a year gig up in addition to your teaching salary?"
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer responded in kind:
Chris Christie is very busy these days running for president, so I’ll keep this short: he doesn’t need to worry about wasting precious campaign time discussing changes to New Jersey’s pension system because we have no intention of negotiating anything with this governor.
Great analysis from John Reitmeyer, who points out that " for taxpayers. there are also enormous consequences because the court ruling reaffirmed that employees still have a right to receive their pensions, meaning the annual payouts will have to come out of the state budget if the pension system ultimately goes broke."

From The Record: "New Jersey received a three-year pass to continue education programs and reforms put in place by the Christie administration, including a new educator evaluation system despised by the teachers union." Also see NJ Spotlight, the Star-Ledger, and Education Week. Education Law Center is peeved.

NJ Spotlight examines how QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum) the state's cumbersome metric for gauging school district effectiveness "may need to change if and when the Christie administration delivers on its high-profile promise to return Newark schools to local control."

The Press of Atlantic City looks at the 2015 Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. N.J. "still ranks second in education, despite a slight increase in the percentage of children not attending preschool and fourth graders not proficient in reading."

Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) thinks that Trenton families, whom she represents, should wait at least three more years for school choice.

There'll Always be A Lakewood: "This past week, the district announced it was canceling courtesy bus service for nearly 11,000 public and private schoolchildren, starting in September. The district said it had run out of time to find a way to close an $8.3 million funding gap." The Asbury Park Press explains that the 100 or so private Orthodox schools in town had agreed to stagger their starting times to save transportation costs, which cover "courtesy bussing" for children who live within 2 miles. But the "the private school leaders later deemed the scheduling change too disruptive for school families and staff, and backed out of the deal" because "the schools’ uniform 9 a.m. is seen as a benefit for the many parents whose schedules revolve around the operating hours of Beth Medrash Govoha, the large yeshiva in Lakewood."