Quote of the Day was pulled from Star-Ledger reporter Jenna Portnoy’s Twitter feed, and retweeted by Blue Jersey alum DSWright (hat/tip) and then @BlueJersey:
“We don’t have a vouchers system yet — much to my chagrin,” @govchristie tells Catholic school student.
— Jenna Portnoy (@jennaportnoy) March 26, 2013
The state controls Newark public schools and Newark is going to court to get control back. Jersey City, the first school system in New Jersey to come under state control, in 1989, retains the label of “failing school system”. The state also controls Paterson schools – it was at a ‘Town Hall’ there that a man shouted ‘fix the schools’ and Christie replied by addressing that grown man as “Boy”. Paterson is also suing to regain local control. And now Camden schools, the first takeover initiated by Christie, as he moves toward re-election and the presidential run he’s hinted he wants beyond it, and will cost a fortune. Four urban districts – easy to see what they have in common, Jersey Jazzman has pointed out.
At the same time, many religious-based and private schools are struggling financially. What better way to combine the aim of shoring them up with public money, particularly when you can help underwrite places that share your ‘conservative moral values,’ including “upholding the sanctity of traditional marriage”.
The schools where the Christies and Norcrosses send their kids? They’re doing fine, they always will. But the fate, say, of the kind of Catholic school you might have come up through is more complicated.
But almost without exception most of the kinds of complications struggling religious and private schools are faced with can be ameliorated by the chunks of public cash vouchers would mean. And the best place to start that engine up? Declare whole vast school districts disaster zones, and let privatizing tycoons and poorly-researched do-gooders have at those schools, those kids. All of it with a “moral compass” that does not take into account nor seek to address the poverty and danger some of those children face, nor their nutition, nor their parents’ efforts to stay healthy or earn a living wage to support them.
These are not Chris Christie’s concerns, these aren’t his voters – either in 2013 or 2016. But when you hear him talking vouchers – never forget it isn’t your kids’ future he’s concerned with. It’s his.