Christie administraton states case for education reform; Diegnan rips governor’s track record

The Christie administration Thursday issued its take on the escalating costs of teachers’ salaries and how they have affected education.

Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to talk in depth about his plans for education reform today before the Brookings Institution.

For instance, in the data provided by the administration, they state that the average teacher salary increased 5.9 percent from 2007-08 to 2009-10, that the average full-time salary climbed from $61,478 to $65,123.

In addition, the administration stated that New Jersey paid the fourth highest teacher salaries in the nation during 2008-09.  The average full-time salary in the state during that period was $63,051 while the national estimated average was $53,910, according to the administration.

Reaction from the other side of the legislative aisle was swift.

Assembly Education Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-18), Middlesex, said Thursday in a statement that  “When I heard Gov. Christie was going to be talking about education reform, my first thought was that this was going to be a rather short and empty speech.”

Diegnan stated that among other things, the administration has cut school funding by $1 billion, “flubbed” a $400 million Race to the Top education funding application, “botched” a $14 million grant application for charter schools, eliminated state funding for a school breakfast program for poor children, and stalled schools construction, leaving students in inadequate buildings.

Christie administraton states case for education reform; Diegnan rips governor’s track record