Chris Christie and NJ’s Teacher Union Re-Engage; Why?August 23, 2013
190 Newark Teachers Receive Merit BonusesAugust 26, 2013
In case you missed it, here’s my WHYY post this week on the reignited fireworks between Christie and NJEA.
NJ School Boards Association is thrilled with Christie’s veto of Senate Bill 1191, which “would have prohibited subcontracting during the term of a collective bargaining agreement and would have required that school boards negotiate over the impact of subcontracting services. These provisions would have effectively restricted school districts from using subcontracting of non-instructional services as a financial strategy in emergency situations and as a tool in financial planning for the district.”
In Hamilton Township (Mercer County) board members missed the deadline to deny tenure to Business Administrator Joseph Tramontana after learning that he was “a personal confidante of its former insurance broker — who had admitted to bribing the mayor and paying for political influence around town.” Now, according to today’s Trenton Times, the Board has filed tenure charges based on the premise that Tramontana “failed spectacularly” in his duties, coding parts of the budget incorrectly, maintaining unapproved petty cash funds and not following state guidelines for purchase orders.” Tramontana is fighting back, and the story elicits views on whether business administrators should get tenure at all.
According to the Asbury Park Press, “school supplies for K-12 students will cost an average of 7.3 percent more than last year, according to the eighth annual Backpack Index by Huntington National Bank, which surveys online retailers for supply costs.”
Today’s Courier Post solicits opinions on whether the newly-named Superintendent of Camden Public Schools, Paymon Rouhanifard, is “ready for this thankless task.” Also see this Philadelphia Inquirer piece for info on Rouhanifard’s background.
Ross Douthat in today’s New York Times on the evolution of race-related controversies in America:
Likewise in education policy, another longstanding racial flash point. There the older battles over integration and busing have mostly given way to a debate about competition and teacher standards in which conservative states are often laboratories for reform. From Chris Christie’s New Jersey to Perry’s Texas (which does a better job educating minority students than many liberal states), the politics of education increasingly produces cross-racial alliances and intraparty debates that look nothing like the civil-rights era divides.
Also in today’s NY Times, the Editorial Board endorses Christine Quinn for mayor. While Bill Thompson has run a “thoughtful campaign” and argues that “he is the best candidate to fix the city’s schools… his close ties to the United Federation of Teachers, not always a friend of needed reforms, give us pause.”