Chris Christie on Education

Last Updated : Oct 19, 2010




Open Letter to Teachers

During his campaign, Chris Christie wrote an open letter to the President of the New Jersey Education Association and all teachers to address the issue of teacher pensions. In the letter, Christie promised that if elected, he would not end collective bargaining and would protect teacher pensions.


Pension Reform

On March 22, 2010 Governor Christie signed legislation to reform pension and health benefits for public employees in New Jersey - S2, S3, and S4. Bill S2 makes various pension system changes, S3 requires contributions toward health care benefits by public employees and S4 makes changes concerning payments to public employees for unused sick leave and sick leave injury in State service.


Proposal of a Pay Freeze

After being elected, Governor Christie pursued his promises of pension reform. On March 23, he wrote a letter to the heads of the New Jersey Education Association calling for a salary freeze in collective bargaining agreements in 2011, requiring that teachers make contributions to their health care plan, and requiring all schools districts to audit their own budgets.


Response to Pay Freeze Proposal

The following day, on March 24 2010, Governor Christie spoke about those events and the budget at a firehouse and at a school in New Jersey.


Not About Teachers

After proposing the pay freeze, the teacher's union in New Jersey held several rallies to refute the notion that teacher's pay should be frozen for a year to offset deficits. Governor Christie responded by appearing on numerous news shows and having a series of town halls to discuss the merits of the proposals. One of the more popular town halls was one where Governor Christie addressed the idea that he was a bully and clarified that the fight was not between him and teachers, but rather him and the teacher's union.


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