Gov. Chris Christie called for school vouchers during the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center breakfast in Teaneck Sunday.
“In public education we are sold a bill of goods in this state and across this country that says this is the one place where accountability and competition have no place,” Christie told the crowd.
Christie supports vouchers, using state funds for special education at Jewish day schools, and expanding charter schools, according to the Star-Ledger.
“I would be happy to take as many dollars as possible away from failure factories that send children on a no stop route to prison and to failed dreams, if we could take that money and put it into a place where those families have hope," Christie said, according to the newspaper’s report.
“You actually have people seeking high office in this state who say that having 200 schools that are failing in New Jersey is acceptable,” Christie said in a jab at his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono.
In a statement, the campaign said Buono would provide the state’s students with “resources they need and the facilities they deserve.”
"Governor Christie's comments would be laughable if they weren't patently false. In his first year in office, he cut school funding by $1 billion and New Jersey's students are still dealing with the consequences,” Buono campaign spokesman David Turner said in an e-mail. “His belief in giving taxpayer money to private schools and his refusal to visit Trenton High School's crumbling campus speaks volumes about his lack of commitment to education.”
Christie supports the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a voucher and scholarship program that would give families in poor-performing districts state money to attend private schools. The New Jersey Education Association and Buono, oppose the measure.
The Orthodox Union advocacy group has been pushing to get aid for parents who want to send their children to religious schools, NorthJersey.com reported. The OU also honored Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Senator Loretta Weinberg for supporting a bill that would allow public funds to be used for special education students at religious schools.
“Jewish day school affordability is one of the most important issues to the New Jersey Jewish community and, as such, we are committed to working with the governor and the state legislature to find creative means for helping Jewish community day schools and families,” Maury Litwack, the OU’s director of State Political Affairs and Outreach, told the LakewoodScoop.com.
Sunday’s event in Teaneck came the same day Christie picked up support from another local elected Democratic official, River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo. Three Teaneck council members - Elie Y. Katz, Yitz Stern and Mark Schwartz - endorsed the governor at a campaign stop on West Englewood Avenue last month.Photo credit: TheLakewoodScoop.com