"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Astounding Hypocrisy of Chris "Mad Dog" Christie

One of the most humane social programs that New Jersey offers its citizens is the supplemental prescription drug coverage for those retirees trying to make it on Social Security. The new governor now wants oldsters to pay a $310 up front deductible to take advantage of the program. As a result many retired folks living on Social Security will be cut out of the program, which, of course, is what the deductible is about in the first place.

Meanwhile, His Bloatedness continues to talk tough about that "privileged class" fat cat teachers, even as he vows to veto the renewal of a tax that expired December 31 on those making more than $1,000,000 per year. So let's see, the poorest retirees get cut out of their prescription drug benefit, teachers are supposed to take a zero pay increase or risk losing their jobs, and those making more than a million a year get a tax cut.

The Star-Ledger has a nice piece of reporting on the facts regarding teacher pay in New Jersey. A clip:

TRENTON--Susan LiBrizzi, a divorced mother of four, earns $61,798 a year as a special-education teacher in the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District — enough, she says, to pay the bills.

Over the years, she has taken on summer jobs — cleaning houses, tutoring, baby-sitting — for extra cash as her salary has increased by $300 or $400 a year.

Now LiBrizzi, who has taught for 14 years, is due a $4,000 raise — and the governor wants her to give it back.

"I feel like staying middle-class is a struggle," said LiBrizzi, 48, who lives in Bridgewater. "I still have two more kids to put through college, and it’s scary."

In his quest to pressure teachers to accept a pay freeze, Gov. Chris Christie has portrayed them as a privileged class, untouched by the recession.

But a Star-Ledger analysis of the salaries of New Jersey’s nearly 113,000 public school teachers finds that more of them are like Susan LiBrizzi than like Rockefeller.

Most would be considered middle-class in New Jersey, making less on average than firefighters, cops, engineers and business middle managers, and more than social services workers and sales representatives. . . .

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