View Full Version : Bend over NJ teachers- here comes Christie!

Zoie La Belle
03-18-2010, 04:08 PM
Taken from his speech on March 16th, 2010

Read the full speech here: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/03/text_of_gov_chris_christie_bud.html

Closing a nearly $11 billion budget gap required us to look hard at the biggest category of spending in the budget – state aid to school districts.
Last year’s state aid included over $1 billion in one shot federal stimulus money that will not return this year. This type of irresponsible use of stimulus money was a typical election year gimmick used to fool school districts and our citizens. Today, we pay the price for putting off the hard choices; school districts will have $819 million less than they had last year. These federal dollars are gone because the stewards of last year’s budget decided to spend every nickel in one year rather than spreading these resources over a number of years as the program intended.

We have worked to ensure that no school district in New Jersey will face a reduction in aid that is greater than 5% of their school budget-- so school districts will face a budget cut that is 4% less than the cut in state spending as a whole. During a crisis worsened by the election year foolishness of our predecessors, we keep school aid cuts at less than state spending cuts.
And I am also proposing legislation to finally give school districts the power they have repeatedly asked for in collective bargaining and in setting employee benefits so that they can lower the costs of their budget without affecting learning in the classroom.

Now, let’s speak candidly about the costs of our public school system. I am a product of New Jersey’s public schools and proud of it. I honor the service of good, conscientious teachers who care deeply about training the leaders of tomorrow for our state.

The leaders of the union who represent these teachers, however, have used their political muscle to set up two classes of citizens in New Jersey: those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them. That has created a system that cannot be sustained – a system fueled by mandatory dues of more than $700 a year taken out of every one of the nearly 200,000 teachers’ paychecks.

Political muscle fueled by intimidation tactics, political bullying and smears of public officials who dare to disagree. This conduct has set up an unfair system. Is it fair to have any public employees getting 4-5% salary increases every year, even when inflation is zero %, paid for by citizens struggling to survive? It is fair to have New Jersey taxpayers foot the bill for 100% of the health insurance costs of teachers and their families from the day they are hired until the day they die? Is it fair that teachers have a better, richer health plan than even state workers and pay absolutely nothing for it?

I believe rank and file teachers know this is not fair and that we can no longer afford to burden our taxpayers with these costs and runaway taxes. The union bosses will tell you, as they always have each time their empire is threatened, that they are protecting our children. This tired song has grown old and inaccurate. Is the way our children learn affected by whether the union gets free family health insurance for life for its members? Does a child learn more if the union gets 5% taxpayer funded raises every year for its members? This is nonsensical and self-serving – and we all know it.
Just how arrogant has the union gotten? By refusing to accept merit pay and use it to reward their best members, the union may have cost New Jersey $400 million in race to the top school aid from Washington. They did this in a year when they complain about budget cuts; in a year when we could truly use the money. Ask yourself, just who is putting their personal interests ahead of our children’s?

My proposal is simple: school district employees should pay for a reasonable portion of their health care costs, just like every other New Jerseyan. If we do not end this dual system, state and local government will have to raise taxes endlessly to pay for it. Teachers are not the problem, they get it. Trenton special interests are the problem and we must stand up to them.
With respect to municipal aid, I am recommending a reduction in various forms of municipal aid of $445 million, but it has been designed to minimize the effect on any one municipality. I am also ordering the department of community affairs to implement a new, disciplined, and significantly reduced program for the past recipients of special municipal aid and extraordinary aid.

No longer will we reward cities and towns who irresponsibly spend. The gravy train of this type of aid is ending. Only those who show they are cutting their budgets just as we are, and practicing transparency with the aid, will make the grade for temporary help. The message is simple: we are ending this aid, and soon, so get your act together now.

In the task of getting control of our finances and turning New Jersey around, we cannot do it alone. If we do not see spending control at the county, municipal and school board level, we will be leaving the job undone.
Today’s pain will have been suffered in vain. So, local governments and school districts must be our partners in this shared sacrifice.

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Despite his ability to rally a crowd, Christie is leading them in the wrong direction. I've been a teacher for three years in both public schools and publicly funded schools- all in inner cities. Listening to him speak on the 16th, I wanted to scream. He started in on teachers and the public schools with outright lies. Let's debunk a few of these shall we?

1. 1 Billion Dollars Spent in one year when it should have been spread out- Um... Did Christie read the fine print? (Because even teachers got emails about this) The stimulus money... that 1 Billion... HAD TO BE SPENT BEFORE SEPTEMBER OF 2009... if it wasn't, it was returned to the federal government.

2. mandatory dues for unions- Mandatory means something that is not optional. Unions are OPTIONAL, therefore so are dues. What's the issue? If you want to join a club and pay for it- do it. Who should tell you how to spend your money? Unions were established to protect teachers from administration who occasionally looses sight of what is truly important (our kids).

3.4-5% raise EVERY YEAR- Where is this guy looking? Mars? The teachers in my district have not yet received a raise this year... so what did we say about that increase? Christie is getting his information from limited sources. Perhaps there is one district that has such a raise... but to say across the board everyone gets that kind of raise is garbage.

4. Healthcare- Free from now until the day I die? Really? Gee, I was under the impression that I paid for it. I wonder where that money goes from my paycheck...

5. Teachers should accept merit pay- I'm sorry to say that this outright pisses me off. Why should MY paycheck be based on SOMEONE ELSES PERFORMANCE?! I understand the theory behind it. It was the original theory to NLCB (No Child Left Behind), however it has been proven- that it doesn't work. Ladies and Gentlemen is I am going to accept merit pay, I'd like to teach honors. What do I teach? Special education. Some kids will NEVER be on grade level. It's just the way they are made. All kids need encouragement, love, support, and teachers who present the information in every way possible for them to understand... but a kid with a 60 IQ will NEVER do Calculus or Algebra 2. The idea works in theory but not in the real world. He is basing all of his claims off of the stereotypical, suburban, average functioning student. What about the inner city kids? You know, the kids who don't eat everyday? The kids who are so abused they can't function? He is taking money from the people who need it most, and using outright LIES to gather support.

To make matters worse- Christie just hired someone to handle his online dealings. The position pays $60,000 and sounds very important. Doesn't it? I mean, every other "New Jerseyan" use taxpayer money to handle their Twitter accounts? What?! You don't?! You mean, normal regular people need to work on their own facebook pages? Really? (Check it out: http://www.nj.com/gloucester/voices/index.ssf/2010/02/pete_mccarthy_christie_hires_s.html)

Christie claims to give the schools the "tools they need for success". Really? My school doesn't even have books! But lets cut the budget some more shall we? What exactly does he mean by tools? It was said that a "good teacher" should be able to gather children in a room with nothing but pens and paper and teach an effective lesson. Wake up. Life is not so simple anymore. This man is going to single handedly make the NJ Public Education system a joke. I am sorry for the long rant, but if I didn't go off somewhere, there was a good chance I might explode.... and with these new budget cuts- we might not have any janitors to clean me off the classroom walls.

The 6th Rogue
03-19-2010, 05:38 PM
With the rate this stupidity and arrogance is going I wonder if we're going to see a few more attempts on the lives of politicians in the coming years. People do get fed up to a certain point and then the news starts.

Zoie La Belle
03-26-2010, 12:12 PM
Wishful thinking at its finest.