In the middle of health and pension debate, Christie burnishes South Jersey Dem support in Camden

CAMDEN – The South Jersey-front office partnership was in full effect this afternoon, as Camden Mayor Dana Redd heaped praise

CAMDEN – The South Jersey-front office partnership was in full effect this afternoon, as Camden Mayor Dana Redd heaped praise on Gov.  Chris Christie while Democratic Party power player George Norcross III watched from the back of a small crowd at the Lanning Street School.

Redd didn’t just give Christie the thumbs up on education reform, but on everything reform.

“Because of your assistance and leadership, Camden is becoming fiscally prudent,” the mayor told Christie. “Your leadership on education reform is truly visionary.”

But she wasn’t finished.

“I’m all too proud to be standing here with you, governor,” read Redd.

When the legislature  approves Christie’s public-private pilot program – “with bipartisan support,” Christie assured – “We invite you back to the City of Camden for a bill signing,” beamed Redd.

Having backed the creation of more charter schools during his administration than any previous governor, and supportive of a vouchers pilot program, the governor said this latest educational piece will authorize public “Transformation Schools” operated by school management organizations and limited in scope to specifically target students with the greatest need to ensure that every child in New Jersey has access to the same quality education.

“While we pursue a comprehensive reform agenda to deliver positive results to every student in New Jersey, we simply cannot continue asking parents and children in failing schools to wait for relief,” said Christie. “This pilot program will provide an innovative alternative for those children who need it most, bolstering our efforts to ensure opportunity for every child in our state. Perhaps most importantly, through the knowledge that change is on the way, this program will begin to restore hope in communities where failing schools deny children hope and opportunity. I thank Mayor Redd for her leadership and commitment to addressing the tough challenges facing this city, and local leaders for getting behind this needed program.” In the middle of health and pension debate, Christie burnishes South Jersey Dem support in Camden