Public Education

Governor Christie wants a “dialogue” with Democrats on funding for public education. My response is no “dialogue” necessary.

Chris Christie has done great damage to education progress by demonizing teachers. The model for an education system we should follow is Finland where teachers are held in the highest regard and their students outperform the rest of the world. Finland does not require overburdening standardized testing and gives its teachers freedom within the classroom and the school to decide the best teaching methods.

Christie has proposed drastic and draconian cuts in education that would hit school districts in Democratic towns. That’s not an appropriate place to start a real dialogue.

I’ll start with fully funding our current funding formula. That’s where the dialogue should start. Also included in the dialogue should be a close look at excessive and unnecessary expenses that do not get into the classroom.

I would promote “WrapAround Community Schools” in low income areas that would deliver community services to families from pre-natal to three years old – the most significant time in the development of a child’s ability to learn.

I would also order a moratorium on charter schools until a thorough study is done to evaluate their effectiveness. There are good charters, but too many bad charters and no compensation to the schools which lose funding for the children going to the charter school without any reduction in their operating expenses.

New Jersey has a good public education system compared to other states, but not compared to other countries. It also has the largest gap between the top performing students and underperforming students.

Providing world class public education is the most important function of a state government. I am the candidate for governor who recognizes that and will make it my top priority.