Last week, the Assembly Education Committee passed a tenure reform bill with all stakeholders lavishing praise on the legislators and on one another for coming up with a bill that was acceptable to all. Not to be outdone, today the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee heard from many of the same folks, and the love fest continued. Senator Teresa Ruiz, the author of the Senate version, was the target of most of the adoration.
As Republican Senator Kevin O'Toole noted, "To see John Tomicki [of the League of American Families] and the NJEA [simultaneously] praise this effort...speaks volumes."
While the GOP abstained as a bloc in the Assembly, today's vote was unanimous for the Senate bill (which Governor Christie said he will support). No one went away completely happy. The NJEA objected to the fact that taxpayer-funded charter schools are not subject to these reforms. The New Jersey Press Association testified that the process for tenure hearings will not be transparent. Some praised the fact that this was a first step in the goal of complete elimination of tenure.
Here's the complete testimony. Let us know what you think. Is this kumbaya or is it a sell-out?