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School districts and the NJEA are saying that Christie's drastic cuts in school aid will "hurt the children," but I believe this is tough medicine we all need. Do with less, and make it work. That's actually a good lesson for kids.

I realize that some are calling Christie's cuts an indirect tax hike because property taxes are likely going up because state aid was drastically cut. I'm not blaming him though. I'll blame the NJEA for not stepping up with some concessions.

I'll give the man a standing ovation if he points the gun barrel at the Abbott program, which has been a colossal failure and money pit in this state.

What a mess. Good start by Christie to start cleaning it up. Bring on the pain. We need it.

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Totally agree. My school district is losing $4 million to the cuts, and teachers are claiming its a conspiracy against public schools, which I doubt. The NJEA is not about the children; they're about the money. I'm getting pissed off listening to my teachers sit and bitch about it when they're wearing pins endorsing the problems.

I saw this movie this weekend, and its a must see, especially after all these budget cuts. It basically shows how the NJEA is such a problem, and why vouchers, charter schools, etc. aren't evil, though they are always depicted to be.

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RSC, funny you mentioned "Cartel." A colleague at work was talking about this film, and I'd love to see it. I checked Netflix but it's not available there.

The only reason I saw it is because my mom works at a charter school, so she got an advance copy. It hasn't actually been released yet, to my knowledge. They have showings throughout the state next month, though, with a Q&A with the guy who made it. The list is under screenings on the side. Fantastic movie.

Edited by RSC
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As a father of 3 kids, I am not happy about the cuts at all. It’s not going to improve the quality of education.

When comparing Christie’s campaign promises with what he is doing, he is starting to look like another regular NJ politician, which really doesn’t surprise me.

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it is an indirect tax hike. but there's nothing wrong with that. alright, maybe not a tax hike, per se, but passing off the cost to someone else... the municipality. the state needs to stop spending money, so anything they cut/pass the buck on, is good.

the other problem lies in municipalities hoarding the money to build a war chest... that wasn't really the intent of the program.

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As a father of 3 kids, I am not happy about the cuts at all. It’s not going to improve the quality of education.

When comparing Christie’s campaign promises with what he is doing, he is starting to look like another regular NJ politician, which really doesn’t surprise me.

You're right. It doesn't improve education quality. But it should force school districts to examine what's really necessary and what isn't ... be that programs, teachers or administrative jobs.

Maybe it'll force the local boards of education to become tougher negotiators, too.

Edited by Jerrydevil
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You're right. It doesn't improve education quality. But it should force school districts to examine what's really necessary and what isn't ... be that programs, teachers or administrative jobs.

Maybe it'll force the local boards of education to become tougher negotiators, too.

These cuts will also affect districts with a lean administration, so I don’t really get your correlation. I see larger classes and less attention for my children.

Edited by eaglejelly
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Education cuts aren't a bad idea, but gigantic, all-encompassing cuts were the wrong route. The first thing that needed to be done was reforming the tenure system. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it costs something like $500,000 to fire a tenured teacher. So these cuts mean that young, un-tenured (and relatively inexpensive payroll-wise) teachers will be sent packing while some tenured teachers who stopped caring a long time ago will continue doing nothing to enrich the minds of their students.

I heard something about a plan to have teachers be required to get re-tenured every five years or something along those lines. It's a fantastic idea. Too bad it doesn't help any of the young teachers getting canned in the coming weeks.

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I see larger classes and less attention for my children.

Yes, that's a tough deal. I think if the NJEA truly cared about that, it would come up with an offer to cut teachers pay 5% across the board (the state aid cut amonuted to about 5% of most school budgets). But it doesn't care. And it will lose some teachers because of it.

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I think your chasing out quality teachers for your children. I remember Mike Huckabee actually increaseing taxes to get increased pay for teachers and it raised the quality of education for the state.

Again, not sure how this is going to help children.

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Education cuts aren't a bad idea, but gigantic, all-encompassing cuts were the wrong route. The first thing that needed to be done was reforming the tenure system. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it costs something like $500,000 to fire a tenured teacher. So these cuts mean that young, un-tenured (and relatively inexpensive payroll-wise) teachers will be sent packing while some tenured teachers who stopped caring a long time ago will continue doing nothing to enrich the minds of their students.

I heard something about a plan to have teachers be required to get re-tenured every five years or something along those lines. It's a fantastic idea. Too bad it doesn't help any of the young teachers getting canned in the coming weeks.

Yea that was part of Chris Daggett's platform.

Edited by devilsfan26
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When you increase class size, two things happen:

1) Increase number of distractions - 30 students provide more distraction to 1 student than 23 do. Simple logic there.

2) Decrease individual teaching time - in a 45 minute period, with a class of 22, I can "spend" 2 minutes of time with each individual, increase the class to 30, now it's down to 1:30.

These are unavoidable consequences of increasing class size. In addition, if you increase the number of students in the class without increasing the actual SIZE of the classroom, there are more potential problems.

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When you increase class size, two things happen:

1) Increase number of distractions - 30 students provide more distraction to 1 student than 23 do. Simple logic there.

2) Decrease individual teaching time - in a 45 minute period, with a class of 22, I can "spend" 2 minutes of time with each individual, increase the class to 30, now it's down to 1:30.

These are unavoidable consequences of increasing class size. In addition, if you increase the number of students in the class without increasing the actual SIZE of the classroom, there are more potential problems.

Districts don't have to increase class sizes if they don't want to do that. They can eliminate JV sports or make every varsity sport pay-to-play. That won't be very popular, though, will it?

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Something had to be done. Continuing to throw money at the problem has shown itself NOT to work and actually things have gotten worse. So lets try this approach. Its a new way of thinking, maybe DC will pay attention- (ha who am I kidding).

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Wow, the schools have to spend responsibly... and not just "spend the money so they get it again next year"... fascinating concept!! B )

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Doesn't this state in general have some of the brightest kids being sent to colleges every year? I mean in terms of proportions don't we send more kids to ivy league schools and top programs then allot of other states? Something has to be working. Firing teachers, increasing class sizes, yea its really going to do wonders for the future of America. Why is it that the kids are the ones who have to suffer for the mistakes of corrupt pocket stuffing politicians. The guy makes me sick and I'm not a democrat or republican so I'm not as biased as most in here, but to me the guy is an absolute waste of life.

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Firing teachers, increasing class sizes, yea its really going to do wonders for the future of America.

I think that's a slight exaggeration. We'll be fine. There's enough resources for kids to learn properly. It's a 5% budget cut for most districts. They can't swing that?

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Doesn't this state in general have some of the brightest kids being sent to colleges every year? I mean in terms of proportions don't we send more kids to ivy league schools and top programs then allot of other states? Something has to be working. Firing teachers, increasing class sizes, yea its really going to do wonders for the future of America.

I'll make a $1 bet that the schools that are sending kids off to the best colleges are disproportionately either private schools or public schools in wealthy suburbs that receive little or no state aid (excepting vouchers).

As to firing teachers, if you're allowed to fire incompetent teachers, then yes, wonders will be done for the future of America. There's very little evidence that decreasing class size has any significant benefit. But more to the point, even if I'm wrong, the hard truth remains that the state simply does not have the money to stay the course. I think Christie recognizes this certainly more than our previous governor and realizes that more tax increases (which are ultimately self defeating) will not solve this problem.

Really what it comes down to is that even the best teachers can't do very much if a student is not motivated to learn and doesn't have support outside of school. If you're a poor kid from Newark who doesn't have a father, the odds are that you're not going to be a successful student. Doesn't matter if you have the faculty of MIT teaching your math class. The best thing you can do is boot out disruptive (often violent) students, and give motivated students in poor cities the option of getting a voucher to go to a private school. You don't have to like it, but it's just the way it is.

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