Candidates clash on education

The gubernatorial candidates are clashing over education reform.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s latest television ad to hit the airwaves prompted a quick response from Democratic hopeful Sen. Barbara Buono Thursday.

The incumbent’s 30-second spot entitled “The Difference” is the campaign’s eighth television ad and aims to brand Buono as a candidate whose ideas for education reform would reverse progress in the state. The spot’s release prompted Buono to accuse Christie’s camp of stooping “to new lows” and issue a statement reminding voters of Buono’s work in the Legislature toward education reform.

Christie’s ad criticizes Buono for opposing merit pay for teachers and opposing tenure reform.

“The choice New Jerseyans have in this election couldn’t be any clearer than on the issue of education reform,” said Christie for Governor Campaign Manager Bill Stepien in a statement. “Barbara Buono not only opposes bipartisan education reforms to give educational opportunity to every child regardless of zip code, she has even said that 200 failing schools ‘isn’t a bad percentage.’”

Buono spokesman David Turner shot back.

“Senator Buono has spent her entire career fighting to make sure that New Jersey’s kids get the resources they deserve,” Turner said in a statement. “Governor Christie has forced kids to learn in classrooms with moldy ceilings, cut $1 billion from the education budget in his first year, and wants taxpayers to fund private schools – leaving students to suffer the consequences.”

Candidates clash on education