Christie calls for N.J. union chief to resign over school voucher comments, Pocono Record, 2/11/12

posted Feb 11, 2012, 4:00 AM by Bill Duncan

(This report shows the direction the debate can take)

Saturday February 11, 2012 | Use Full Website

Christie calls for N.J. union chief to resign over school voucher comments

By NewsCore
February 08, 2012 8:27 PM

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday called for the resignation of a state teachers union chief who said "life's not always fair" while making an argument against vouchers to send poor students to private schools.

New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Executive Director Vincent Giordano made the comment on the local "New Jersey Capitol Report" program over the weekend. During the interview, he was challenged by the host on why low-income families should not have the same options as other families when their child is in a failing school.

"Those parents should have exactly the same options and they do. We don't say that you can't take your kid out of the public school. We would argue not and we would say, 'Let's work more closely and more harmoniously,'" Giordano said.

When told some families cannot afford to finance the shift to private school without government help, Giordano said, "Well, you know, life's not always fair and I'm sorry about that."

At a press conference in Westfield, N.J., on Wednesday Christie said, "I cannot express how disgusted I am by that statement by the head of the largest teachers union in our state, but I also have to tell you I'm not the least bit surprised because I think it so succinctly captures what their real position is."


Giordano also said in the interview that the union's "record of support for urban education and disadvantaged children is unimpeachable."

He said the union does oppose vouchers, but only because "they will take resources from disadvantaged public schools and only exacerbate the challenges faced by students in those communities."