Teachers' Union, Governor Square Off in N.J.
Even as he moved into the New Jersey governor’s office in January, Chris Christie prosecuted a war of words against the powerful statewide teachers’ union, saying it was mired in “19th century” views on policy and spending. Now that war has rolled into voters’ homes as the two sides fight for their support on painful budget decisions.
The battle has already extracted its first casualty: hundreds of local school budgets. For the first time since 1976, Garden State voters rejected most of the school budgets offered for their approval. Now those budgets have to be revised by municipal leaders.
Two days before the April 20 vote, the Republican governor urged voters to spurn budgets if they didn’t include a one-year freeze on teacher pay he had requested. Only two dozen of the state’s 600 districts had reopened their teacher contracts and secured...
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