Codey Urges Cooler Heads Between Governor, NJEA

Says Acrimony and Rhetoric Damaging to State of Education in New Jersey

TRENTON – State Senator Richard J. Codey today urged New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) to put past disputes behind them and come together in order to improve the education system for New Jersey’s students.

“The heated rhetoric, personal acrimony and all-out war between Governor Christie and the NJEA has got to come to an end,” said Senator Codey, D-Essex. “Now that the school board elections are over, and the people of New Jersey have either approved or rejected their local school budgets, it’s time for the State’s Chief Executive and the State’s largest teacher union to let bygones be bygones, and come together for the students. Inflamed rhetoric and gross exaggeration won’t solve New Jersey’s education problems or our budgetary problems.”

Senator Codey said that both sides have escalated the war of words – whether it was the Governor’s comment that teachers were using students like “drug mules” or the Bergen County Education Association President Joseph Coppola’s e-mail “praying” for the death of the Governor. Senator Codey said that he hopes that both sides can look past the others’ remarks to work together for the good of the State’s education system.

“Soundbytes don’t equate to solutions for the 1.4 million students who depend on public education in New Jersey,” said Senator Codey. “Reasonable people should be able to disagree reasonably, and hopefully, at the end of the day, you move a little closer to a compromise that everyone can agree to. The War of the Words between the Governor and the NJEA has made compromise a little bit more difficult, but hopefully not out of the realm of possibility.

“New Jersey’s residents – and most importantly, public school students – depend on us to act like adults and forge a compromise on school funding which continues to meet the high educational standards the State has become known for,” added Senator Codey. “Now that the votes have been cast, I hope we can put past ugliness behind us, and allow cooler heads to prevail to create a fair solution to our State’s school aid problems.”