NJEA: Fashion DisasterMarch 24, 2010
NAEP Scores OutMarch 25, 2010
In New Jersey, school employees’ contracts are negotiated locally, and each local association may decide whether or not to reopen its settled contract. However, NJEA members will not be bullied by this governor into paying for his misguided priorities. Despite his preposterous claim that state funding for education has actually increased, the truth is that the governor has slashed more than $1.3 billion from direct aid to local districts through his executive order last month and the budget he proposed earlier this month. Those are his priorities, and he is responsible for their consequences.
If the NJEA has its way, teachers will watch friends and colleagues get laid off, class sizes increased and extracurricular programs eliminated — rather than reopen sacrosanct contracts and accept a pay freeze. Remember, these are the same teachers who chanted, “Think of the kids!” during their protest of the governor’s proposed funding cuts. Local union chapters should think of the kids (and the suffering taxpayers), defy their militant state leadership and agree to a pay freeze. It’s the right thing to do.
Please, teachers are not the enemies here. We are not parasites, or money-mongering selfish people like the Governor would have the public believe. We work hard, we give our sweat and blood for our students, and we are up against unprecedented challenges: kids from broken and blended families; kids with increasingly serious health and psychological problems; kids who have no family support; kids from poverty – the list goes on and on.