Christie on Charters, Vouchers, Pre-K

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Last month School Leader, the monthly mag from NJSBA, published an interview with Governor Corzine. This month it’s Chris Christie’s turn, and there’s a couple of tidbits that that cast some light on Christie’s heretofore murky educational agenda.

Charter schools: we should look at “which models work in urban settings and create more of them.”

Vouchers:“I think the issue of vouchers becomes necessary in failed districts where you have economically disadvantaged people who do not have the option to remove their child from what they consider to be a failed school or a failed district. The way I see the voucher system working is that it would only happen in failed districts.”

Education Commissioner:” I would like to see a commissioner who sets a tone at the department, that those people who want to come in and try to establish charter schools are not the enemy, and that the Department of Education should be a resource to help them.”

New School Funding Reform Act: “I thought it was a small step in the right direction but that it did not go far enough.”

Consolidation and regionalization: “I leave it in the hands of the taxpayers who are paying the bills. It should be studied by people who are interested in looking at the regional approach or consolidation, but I’m not somebody who thinks Trenton should be forcing that down people’s throats.”

No Mandatory Pre-School: “No, I do not believe in mandatory pre-K, in part because we have a thriving private pre-K industry in our state that I wouldn’t want to see destroyed…. I am opposed to mandatory pre-K paid for by the taxpayers in every municipality and state taxpayers in N.J.”

On collective bargaining and civil service: “I think we need to look at the entire way we deal with all public employment across the board. It makes no sense to me that in this state, we have collective bargaining and civil service existing at the same time.”

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