Urban legislators blocking attempt to improve schools, Christie says (with video)
By Matthew Arco | March 12th, 2013 - 1:23pm
| More

PATERSON – Gov. Chris Christie told Paterson residents that failing public schools and lawmakers unwilling to enact change in the state’s education system are robbing New Jersey’s urban students of a future.

Garnering applause as well as sharp criticism from at least one town hall resident who shouted at Christie to “fix our public schools,” the governor told residents the very lawmakers who represent urban districts are the ones harming their constituents.

“We have an African American female speaker of the Assembly,” said Christie, speaking about a school voucher system.

“The very people who represent urban New Jersey … blocked this,” he said. “She refused to let people vote on this bill.”

Christie spoke for nearly an hour-and-a-half at what was largely a tame town hall meeting.

That is, until the subject of failing public schools came up.

“I don’t know how that empowers urban New Jersey,” Christie said of Speaker Sheila Oliver’s decision not to allow a school voucher bill to hit the floor of the General Assembly.

“If you’re in a failing public school it means we’re failing you,” said Christie, arguing children are being “robbed” of a future and saying that if lawmakers refuse to allow competition then residents will “vote with their feet” by moving.

“They tell me that I don’t understand, … [but] they’re dead wrong,” he said. “My parents moved us out [of Newark] when I was 5 years old because they became convinced that I wouldn’t be able to get a good education in Newark.”

The topic drew Christie to step closer to the audience inside St. Luke’s Baptist Church while delivering his answer to a question about urban education.

“There is nothing that angers me more than going into urban school settings and watching kids fail and looking at parents who say, ‘I have no option,’” said Christie, saying he doesn’t want to eliminate public schools, he wants to bring competition into failing districts.

His comments drew some applause, but also some shouting, specifically from one man who repeatedly yelled, “Fix the public schools!”

“You can yell all you want about fix the public schools,” he said, adding it won’t happen until “you give me the chance to set up competition.”

The Back Room

Sources: Why Fox?

With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why?

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 18th

Guv prospects Fulop and Sweeney add voices to Silva, Stack and striking 1199 SEIU workers UNION CITY – They tried out their blue collar tough guy tonsils today in front of a purple-shirted crowd of striking healthcare workers – two of three as-yet-undeclared Democratic candidates for governor: Jersey City...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“We’re going to hold the line until hell freezes over, and when hell freezes over, we’re going to hold the line on ice skates." - Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-31), at yesterday's SEIU 1199 rally.

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Who would make the best running mate for Chris Christie if he lands the GOP nomination for president?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources