NJ Gov. Christie Takes no Public Ed Union Prisoners

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This WSJ article is about Christie’s fight against the Public Ed Union Bosses.  Hightlights:

Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, and Barbara Keshishian, president of the state’s teachers union(NJEA), say they want to improve public schools. That’s where agreement ends.

He says she’s a “greedy thug” who uses children as “drug mules.” She says he’s a “bully” and a “liar” who’s “obsessed with a vendetta.”

“Chris will either be the most stunningly effective governor ever in New Jersey, or he will alienate so many constituencies that he can’t build the consensus to tackle these grave problems,” said Cory Booker, Newark’s mayor. The Republican governor recently gave the Democratic mayor a big role in running the Newark public schools, which the state took over in 1995 after declaring them a failure.

New Jersey spends $17,794 a year per pupil, highest in the nation after Washington, D.C. … To foot that and other bills, New Jersey residents pay an average of 11.8% of their income in state and local taxes, the highest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank. The average property tax bill for owner-occupied residences in New Jersey is $6,579, also a U.S. high.

Mr. Christie and Ms. Keshishian first crossed each other in June 2009, when the NJEA invited gubernatorial candidates to audition for its endorsement. Mr. Christie refused to attend. In a letter, he said he wasn’t seeking the endorsement because it would “require promises…that will not be kept.”

He … took direct aim at NJEA.  “The leaders of the union who represent teachers 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.” He said it was “unfair” for teachers to receive “4% to 5% salary increases every year, even when inflation is zero, paid for by citizens struggling to survive.”

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