Open Phones: NJ Education Cuts

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The debate over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's proposed education cuts continues. Are you on the side of the governor, or the teacher's union? Give us a call and let us know if you've chosen a side, and why!

Comments [10]

Don from West Oragne

I don't think there is an easy solution to NJ's fiscal crisis. Gov. Christie is confronting the issue head-on, for which I give him credit, but I am absolutely opposed to his tactic of demonizing our teachers while allowing the "millionaire's tax" to expire. As a union member, I support the teacher's union against Gov. Christie's strong-arm tactics. As a parent, I will vote in favor of my town's school budget next Tuesday.

Apr. 16 2010 01:56 AM
kab80 from south jersey

School are not the problem. The way we fund school in this state is the problems. New Jersey state funds their schools at lower rate then many other states and by cutting the state funding to the schools they are raising the property taxes. I would rather see them raise my income tax give more to the schools and cut our property tax, but no one considers that because it will make the politician look bad.

Apr. 15 2010 07:16 PM
Cat from NJ

Let me make clear that I am not a teacher and have always worked in the corporate world. I am voting for the school budget. The teachers are the people who care for our children 7 hours a day. Let me tell you, the kids are not angels. Not many people with masters and PHDs are willing to do that and get paid a teacher's salary. I can understand lowering the admin cost and exploring shared services, but, teachers deserve their pay. For Christie to make such dramatic cuts to school state aid and not giving the school boards time to digest the impacts is unconscionable. I doubt Christie realizes that a lot of school boards are volunteers with day jobs. Then, why would he care? His children does not attend public school.

Apr. 15 2010 12:25 PM
Tim from Howell

I was a public school teacher for 8 years, and my wife is still a teacher. I don’t think most teachers would have a problem agreeing to not have raises, however Christie instead just makes teachers into enemies.
Right now, 70% of teachers quit in the first 5 years and don’t return. The number one cause is pay. Teaching can be a very frustrating job that is emotionally draining also. Many teachers I know easily spend $1000 a year of their own money for their students, because districts don’t supply much of what children need. Christie makes these people out to be evil.
I have also heard Christie make many false statements. He says why should teachers get automatic 5% raises, and not have deductibles. Neither is true. For teachers, it is obvious that if he lies, he is not honestly interested in solving problems. It is political attack.
People do not respond well to being falsely attacked.
Also, he does not try to force consolidation, which could be to county districts. That would save an enormous amount of money by cutting business administrators, superintendents, etc., who are highly paid. In my wife’s district, Matawan-Aberdeen, the new superintendent is a Christie buddy. He has cut teachers to the point where –definitely with his knowledge- students miss much math and other classes. He doesn’t care. His monetary return is a grossly overpaid, unjust 185,000, and he takes advantage of anything to get himself bonuses. After his first 4 months there, scores increased, so he paid himself a bonus, even though obviously he didn’t earn it. This is the kind of thing that needs to be cut, but Christie shows no interest.
If teachers saw equitable and realistic cutting, they would be okay with it.
In addition, I have known many police officers. I am not against them, but neither is Christie. Many retire in 20 years and make a 90,000 a year pension. Few teachers make that much in actual pay, but yet only they are targets.
From my experience, most teachers work hard, and put in an enormous amount of extra effort and expense to help students, because they feel parental toward the children. They do this despite not being supported, because they care so much. Yet, they are made out to be selfish thieves. This country grossly underpays teachers according to statistics compiled by the Wall Street Journal. It is lucky we have so many people who care so much they are willing to be societally mistreated because they believe in the importance of what they do.

Apr. 15 2010 12:12 PM

One more reason not to live in NJ.

Apr. 15 2010 11:59 AM
Kyle Harrow from Millburn

I'm a democrat and didn't vote for Christie. Does anyone know that he sends his kids to private school. He doesn't have skin in this game!
I'm going to vote for our budget. Millburn had $3 million cut in state aid - all of it. I think it has forced the district to look carefully and cut the fat.
I don't think cutting teachers' salaries is the answer. Asking for benefit cuts is the way to go.

Apr. 15 2010 11:57 AM
charles meyer from montclair, nj

Christie's war on teachers and the teachers' union is astute politics and will heighten interest in him among Republican-leaning people nationwide--he has identified a new target for scapegoating and demonizing to replace welfare recipients, blacks, gays and other groups the republicans have used in the past. It's effective because many people resent the job security and relatively good benefits that teachers retain, in contrast to the private sector job environment, which is characterized by little or no security and stagnant wages. For education, it is a disaster, as it will encourage experienced teachers to retire or leave, younger teachers to move out of the profession, and talented young people not to consider going into teaching. The short term financial payoff, and the political payoff for Christie, will be outweighed by lasting damage to our schools

Apr. 15 2010 11:56 AM
Ben from Manhattan

Why not raise gas prices, rather than cut education spending? They are currently $0.20 less than any other state on the east cost!

Apr. 15 2010 11:54 AM
Nick Wallwork from New Jersey

For those of us against Christie's cuts visit

Apr. 15 2010 11:45 AM

as I siad Wednesday "what about cutting administration. that's why the property taxes are so high. how many school district are there in NJ? seems like a lot." but clearly we don't value kids or education. "if schools should be cut like businesses how about trying a 4 day school week."

Apr. 15 2010 11:14 AM

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