HAMILTON – Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he gives the Legislature an “incomplete” grade on education reform, but maintained that he is not anti-teacher.
“My quarrel is with the union refusing to make changes,” he said during his town hall, referring to the New Jersey Education Association.
Change is needed, he said, because there are some 104,000 kids in 200 failing schools, at a very high price to the taxpayers.
“We are paying a king’s ransom…for a record of complete and utter failure,” he said.
He said the state pays $33,000 per child in Asbury Park, yet less than 50 percent can do math at an eighth-grade level.
And, a ninth-grader has a 29 percent chance of graduating in Newark, even though more than $20,000 is spent per pupil, according to the governor.
Christie once again called for tenure reform, merit pay for teachers, and school choice.
Christie also gave the Legislature an incomplete grade on shadow government reform and the early release program for prisoners.
On ethics reform, Christie said the Legislature “demonstrates complete disinterest in the subject matter.”