Newspaper: Christie Puts Education Front and Center in State Speech

When Gov. Chris Christie announced his education reform agenda at a town hall meeting last September, it took him a few weeks to even appoint a task force, let alone take more concrete steps.

In the wake of his State of the State address yesterday, in which Christie called education reform one of his top priorities for 2011, there may be little time to even catch one’s breath before the action begins.

In the next week, the administration will start showing its hand, beginning with the announcement of what is expected to be a big round of new charter schools on Tuesday, as well as longer-term proposals for further expanding the scope and number of the innovative schools.

His new education commissioner, Chris Cerf, also starts next week, with the legislature expected to start its own review of the appointment soon after.

And key legislators whose committees are already considering proposals that go to the heart of Christie’s agenda — charter schools, teacher tenure, and private school vouchers — all said yesterday they were poised to renew their work, although some said not necessarily in ways that will be to the governor’s liking.

With that crowded docket ahead, NJ Spotlight looks at where some of the key education issues now stand with the administration and the legislature, including charter schools and the Opportunity Scholarship Act.

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