Post is by Trina Scordo, Executive Director, NJ Communities United
The Newark Students Union have organized a massive student boycott of Newark Public Schools today because many of them are too young to take their vote to the polls – but they are not too young to exercise their first amendment rights to protest and expose Chris Christie’s real record on public education.
On a daily basis these young people experience the consequences of Chris Christie’s intentional underfunding of public schools, his refusal to follow the funding formula and his total lack of concern for local control of our public schools.
For Christie this is really about his agenda for co-opting community resources; not the actual needs of the community. If that wasn’t already obvious based on the fact that he’s cut funding to Newark Public Schools by $56 million dollars, then it should be even more glaring after his infamous statement to the press a few months ago claiming that he doesn’t, “care about the community criticism. We run the school district in Newark, not them.”
This wasn’t just another episode of Christie’s public bravado. This remains his clearest statement yet on his opinion of public schools in general and Newark Public Schools in particular. His rigid ideological opposition to proper funding, community participation and fixing our schools’ broken infrastructure is designed to destabilize public education in New Jersey and replace it with a for-profit charter school model controlled by investors, corporations and the economic elite, instead of the parents, students and communities who have a vested interested in our children’s future.