I am sure none of us are surprised that the Governor’s allies were indicted on Friday. We have seen the evidence for the past 16 months. We have been disgusted that they waged a retaliatory war on the children of Fort Lee who were going to their first day of school. Meanwhile children of public schools continue suffer because of the Christie Administration, whether they are living under Cami Anderson’s One Newark Plan, the sale of Camden’s schools or the schools being underfunded according to the School Funding Reform Act by $1 billion this year alone in the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget. In Morris County alone, schools are underfunded by $29 million. If the Governor followed the law approved by the Legislature, his predecessor and agreed upon by State Supreme Court, Dover would receive an additional $5 million dollars in State Aid. Parsippany would receive nearly 60% more in State Aid.
The Governor needs to follow the laws, including laws he proposed, advocated and signed (Chapter 78?). Yet we continue to give away amazing amounts of corporate welfare. For example, the taxpayers can pay the 76ers to build an $89 million dollar practice facility.
Items for Action:
- Join NJEA to lobby for fully funding of the pension system in June. There are a few dates to choose from: June 11, 22, and the 29th. Here’s the pension flier with more information. You need to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Save a personal day for one of these days.
- Also we need to put some pressure on the State Senate to move the PARCC bills. Go to our friends at SOSNJ to quickly send a few emails to Senate leadership including Senator Sweeney who called PARCC a non-event, without knowing the validity of the test, refusal numbers, the days of no-streaming or library, little instruction going on, and sub usage.
- #fundnjpension: Everyone needs to become a pension activist! We need to protect our future for our families. What would a diminished pension mean for your family? I know for my wife and I, both teachers, it would mean painful sacrifices. Sacrifices upon sacrifices already made as a proud NJ teacher. Therefore we must act now.
- Sign up to be a pension activist. Pass this link to your friends and family in the field of education in New Jersey. With this tool we can organize our campaign.
- Use social media: A grassroots effort by our members has thrust the pension fight onto our “timelines” and help to update our status. Join Twitter, start tweeting at our legislators and media to #fundnjpensions. Use resources on the new NJEA website fundnjpension.org such as facts and memes to share to help educate the public. Follow the MCCEA LAT on Twitter!
- Building on our Social Media: Tweet on payday to legislators that you have made your contribution to the pension and its time that the legislature make theirs, because #itsthelaw.
- Contact your legislator: Email and call their office. Ask them if they support funding our pensions. If they do, how will they get the funding to do so. Do some homework, did they sponsor or co-sponsor Chapter 78 legislation? Did they vote for it? How do they feel that the Governor is now challenging a law that he championed, supported, signed, and campaigned for Governor on in 2013 as a model for bipartisanship. but now is challenging in the court as unconstitutional.
- Endorsed Candidates:
- Morris First Candidates for Freeholder: Our colleagues at the County College of Morris for the past few years have faced budget cuts and 0% budget increases. They are currently in contentious negotiations and facing 22 Reductions in Force. The MCCEA Screening Committee met and voted to endorse the slate of candidates Deputy Freeholder Director John Cesaro, Ms. Christine Myers, and Mr. Angelo Tedesco in the Republican Primary. They understand the issues facing educators and the citizens of the county. More information to follow!
- State Board of Education Lobby Day: On June 3rd, the State Board of Education will be having its Open Topic public testimony session. Testimony begins at 2:00 and you are able to testify about any topic with the exception of pending legal matters. We have been very successful in organizing a great turnout and have been very effective in educating the State Board of Education. Personally, I would love to hear how the Governor, Commissioner Hespe and the State Board of Education is planning on punishing districts whose students opt-out from testing. Are they planning to have districts harass, intimidate or bully students and parents into taking the worthless test. Please see the attached flier. Also note that you must register beginning May 15th to testify.