The first town hall meeting in Cape May County by Gov. Chris Christie was all about education. Christie spent his entire speech on the importance of changing how funding takes places in the state and fixing the state’s tenure system. Christie began by citing the Abbott school districts taking all the money. Those districts make up only 31 of the state’s districts, but takes in over 50 percent of school funding. A supreme court case will decide whether the state needs to repay $1.6 billion in school funding. Christie contends the state can’t afford the current funding formula for schools; school advocates say that the state broke the rules and need to live up their end of the bargain.
Christie continued pushing for tenure to be conditional. His plan would make a teacher be reviewed every five years to decide whether the teacher would keep tenure status or lose it. The New Jersey Education Association has launched a media campaign blasting this push. Christie says merit pay would give more reason for good teachers to continue to work hard.
Other notes from the town hall meeting:
– Christie said he was “98 percent” sure he was gonna close the Vineland Development Center. The governor says data shows small home care produces the best results and the government needs to cut somewhere.
– He is leaning towards supporting moving the Presidential primary to June next year in order to have all primary elections on the same day and reduce cost.
– Atlantic City should be spending $30 million on advertising next year to bring people to the resort. This spending is almost eight times more than what was being done before. Christie believes this regional approach to tourism will also benefit shore communities in the nearby area.