September 12, 2011 - NJYouthUnited Org - http://njyouthunited.org/wp/student-teacher-unity-is-the-only-way-forward/
Early this summer, while students and many teachers were scattered to the winds on break, many away on pre-planned vacations, NJ Governor Christie and about half the Democratic state legislators led by State Senator Stephen Sweeney and the entire set of Republican legislators were busy indeed.
The bipartisan anti-teacher and public worker putsch occurred in June, when the New Jersey State Legislature passed a law that threatens the retirement security and health benefits of public employees. Under the bill, teachers will pay more into their retirement pension, and will get less when they retire. In terms of health benefits,the average teacher will be paying thousands of dollars more for their healthcare. The bill translates into a huge paycut for our teachers.
Further, Governor Christie and the Democratic legislature plan on taking up the issue of Education ‘reform’ this fall. New Jersey has some of the best public schools in the nation, consistently ranking in the top five of all states using various measures. The schools where students do tend to struggle – places such as Trenton, Newark, and Atlantic City – are the result of extremely high poverty not poor teaching. The proposed bills will make it easier to fire more experienced teachers and will allow school districts to evaluate teachers based largely on student’s standardized test scores.