A bill looking to stem the flood of potential teacher layoffs, but would likely do more harm than good, reached Governor Christie’s desk yesterday and was conditionally vetoed. The purpose of the legislation was to require school districts to gain the approval of the local teachers union any time they wanted to reduce staff levels due to budget cuts or any other factor affecting funding.
What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Its insanely stupid! The Senate Democrats solution to stopping teachers from being laid off is to force districts to gain the permission of a private organization who would never agree to such a thing? How is that helpful? How does that allow schools districts to deal with the fiscal crisis in a way that does not harm the education of New Jersey’s children?
The only word that can describe this democrat move more than “stupid” is “predictable.” Just as with the failure to pass or even vote on a majority of the Tool Kit legislation to help municipalities deal with rising costs under a new paradigm for property taxes, the Democrats have again shown that they have no interest in helping taxpayers cope, but instead just want to line the pockets of their political allies, this time the NJEA.
The Governor was also concerned with this bill creating a disincentive to teachers who wish to make concessions back to their district in order to save their job on an individual basis, a choice that any employee who values their job and does not want to lose it should be free to make.
School employees who admirably choose to make a sacrifice should feel assured that any savings achieved through their concessions will only be used for the agreed-upon purpose of maintaining other positions.
The NJEA is vehemently against any teacher making an individual decision on whether their job is saved or cut, but that instead they should decide. The largest teacher’s union also feels that any concessions should not be made. They would clearly rather see every district slashed down to an inadequate number of educators, rather than give anything back for the students.
The bill now goes back to the Senate where they have the option of overriding the veto or passing it with the changes Christie made. Since the Senate Democrats have yet to make a statement on the veto, it would be a safe assumption that an override is not going to happen. So, teachers, thank the Governor. He has done what he can to save you from the Democrats and the NJEA (which again, is basically just an extension of the Democrats), and allow you to save your own jobs.