I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Screaming Hypocrisy of Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie really does not care if he gets caught in his contradictions or not:
Gov. Christie says the state could intervene in the day-to-day affairs of the Camden school system within six to eight weeks, depending on how quickly the legal process moves.
Under the state-run system, the school board will have an advisory role, and the state will choose a new schools superintendent.
Christie, the father of four school-age children, expressed what he described as an obligation to get involved in the Camden district at a press conference today at Woodrow Wilson High School.
"I don't want anything worse for the children of this city or any other city in the state of New Jersey than I would want for my own children," he said. [emphasis mine]
And what, exactly, does he want for his own children?
Chris Christie sends his sons to the Delbarton School:
The course of study offers preparation in all major academic subjects and a number of electives.
The studies are intended to help a boy shape a thought and sentence, to speak clearly about ideas and effectively about feelings, and to seek relevant facts in making judgments.
The faculty, many of whom hold higher degrees in field, consists of 80 men and women. And because the average class size is 15 and student-teacher ratio 7:1, the learning environment at Delbarton is designed to be intimate and challenging. [emphasis mine]

Tuition for the 2011-12 academic year is $27,800.00. Tuition is all-inclusive and covers such items as a daily hot lunch, technology costs, and activity fees.
Actual costs per student:

Delbarton Fund contributions are used to support technology upgrades, athletic fields and facilities, service projects, financial aid for worthy students, and maintenance of the campus, among others. Fundraising as a whole covers 10% of the annual budget, or approximately $1,900 of each student's tuition. [emphasis mine]
That was a year ago, so who knows what the per pupil spending is now. Certainly well over $30K, I have to imagine. But here's Christie today on Camden's spending:
While saying some Camden leaders and educators truly care, Gov. Christie asserts "the system is broken" in announcing the takeover of the Camden school district this morning.
He said a thorough evaluation of the district last summer convinced him there was no other choice.
"Just because we can't guarantee a positive result or we have had mixed results in the past, is not an excuse for inaction," Christie said.
"This is not about money' the governor stressed, saying that the Camden district received $280 million in the most recent annual budget. [emphasis mine]
Lord knows it's very difficult to get a straight answer on per pupil spending in this state, but the NJDOE's "report card" for Camden set it at about $22K.

If Chris Christie doesn't want "anything worse for the children of this city or any other city in the state of New Jersey than I would want for my own children," he needs to come up with at least $8,000 more for every child in Camden to spend on schools.

Maybe then those kids can enjoy a "... faculty, many of whom hold higher degrees in field..." and an "...average class size [of] 15 and student-teacher ratio 7:1...".

Oh, and no standardized tests. And athletic fields so big you can land a helicopter on them.

What do you think Christie's response will be when someone asks him about this screaming hypocrisy?

Get used to it, Camden: this is the level of "accountability" you're in for now that Chris Christie runs your schools.


Duke said...

Yeah, sorry, we're just not going there.

jersey jack said...

Governor Jaba The Hut continues to sell off our greatest assets in this state to the lowest bidder...our great public schools...the schools that educated our veterans...the schools that won 2 World Wars...the schools that trained kids to produce the greatest goods at the best cost and value...now our schools will be run by a LA Jew and his wife, who made a fortune building sub-standard homes in the south using scab labor building them...only to watch them fall apart during Hurricanes Andrew and Opal...sending our money to Isreal illegally to support a terrorist regime known as the state of Isreal...training failed business leaders such as Chris Cerf, Joel Kline, and Cami Anderson to run our great schools into the ground. Unless we throw out Governor Jaba into jail with his brother who stole $500 million dollars from mutual fund stockholders at GoldmanSachs, our future is doomed!!

Public School Educator said...

Hi Jazzman, thank you for your always thought-provoking posts. As a lifelong product of, and advocate for, public education, I believe we can provide our children with great schooling without spending $30,000 per student, as they do at Delbarton (emphasis mine, although I'm not arguing that money doesn't matter at all). As you suggested, Camden's spending is about $22,000 per pupil, which makes it one of the greatest funded public school districts in the country (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/finance_insurance_real_estate/cb12-113.html), but the education provided does not parallel spending. Poverty certainly plays a strong role in the story here, but even other districts across the country serving similar demographics achieve more with less (did you like the Union City article in the NYT? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/opinion/sunday/the-secret-to-fixing-bad-schools.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0). Being recently priviledged to visit multiple classrooms across several Camden schools, I observed an average student-teacher ratio of between 8:1 and 15:1. I undoubtedly believe Camden needs our support, but would not start with increased funding or lower class sizes to move the education of Camden children in line with what I want for my own children.

littlebirdbaked said...

How about a hot lunch like his kids get?