Friday, October 24, 2014
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Gov. Christie and State Teachers Union Not at Odds on All Fronts

It can be hard to figure out the relationship between Gov. Chris Christie and the state’s biggest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association.

Gov. Christie and State Teachers Union Not at Odds on All Fronts

FILE - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition´s "Road to Majority" Policy Conference in Washington, June 20, 2014.  (REUTERS/Larry Downing, File)
FILE - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Policy Conference in Washington, June 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Larry Downing, File)

It can be hard to figure out the relationship between Gov. Chris Christie and the state’s biggest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association.

In the beginning of his first term, he vilified the union -- and vice versa -- over budget cuts and pension changes. Then the two worked together developing the state’s tenure reform law, even meeting together for the signing.

Now, he faces the NJEA’s wrath again, over his failure to meet promised pension obligations -- earning him a lawsuit from the union.

But quietly over the past two weeks, his administration -- including his chief of staff Kevin O’Dowd -- worked out a compromise with the union and the Democratic leadership, slowing down the consequences of new national tests tied to the Common Core State Standards.

To some, Christie caved in by agreeing to slow down the process at all. To others, it was the union that buckled and withdrew from its position to press for a full delay of the new tests’ impact on teacher evaluations, the main issue at hand.

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