Governor Chris Christie’s continued allegiance the charter school movement was on display when he visited North Star’s Alexander Street School in Newark on Monday. When asked what he would do if Newark Mayor Ras Baraka continued to object to charter school expansion, Christie said he would “run him over.”
Now, former Governor Dick Codey has issued a statement lambasting Christie for his choice of words about Newark’s mayor.
Senator Codey (D-27) issued the following statement:
“Saying you are going to ‘run him over’ when referring to the person elected by the people of Newark if he doesn’t fall in-line with your charter school initiative is exactly the type of incendiary rhetoric that attempts to divide the city – not bring it together.
“After years of conflict in Newark, Mayor Baraka has made great strides in bringing together charter and public school parents and advocates on issues such as school funding and, importantly, local control of the city schools. It is beyond the pale to threaten to halt the return of local control simply because you and Mayor Baraka disagree about the expansion of charters in Newark.
“Stating you will ‘run him over’ is not just an attack on the Mayor, but also the people of Newark and is in no way is a good faith comment that helps the situation.”
“We are dealing here with the education of the children of Newark and the cooperation of the individuals on the ground in the community and talking to parents is essential if we are to attain everyone’s goal of providing for their educational needs.
“We are all in agreement that a mix of charter schools and public schools is best going forward so why can’t we achieve this through dialogue without this type of language?”