By Melissa Hayes
(From The Record, August 6th, 2012)
MIDDLESEX – Governor Christie today signed a bill that overhauls the state’s teacher tenure system, even though it is missing a key component he fought to include in the measure.
Christie signed the bill, known as the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for Children of New Jersey Act, in the media center of the Von E. Mauger Middle School after briefly meeting with children in a summer camp program in the school’s gymnasium.
Christie had wanted the bill to include a provision that would weaken seniority provisions, known as last in first out.
Education Commissioner Chris Cerf praised the law, but said that the “last in, first out” provision must still be addressed.
“Lets celebrate this moment together but lets not pretend the work is done,” he said.
State Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, the primary sponsor of the bill said she was warned that taking on tenure reform was “political suicide” but she knew it was an issue that needed to be addressed to ensure a quality education for children. She thanked Christie, her fellow lawmakers and the teachers union for spending hours working to ensure the law passed. The Legislature adopted the measure unanimously.