Letter from Randi Weingarten to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the school crisis in Newark

The Honorable Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Governor Christie:

There is a crisis in Newark. And that crisis was made worse by your schools Superintendent Cami Anderson opting not to attend last night’s School Advisory Board meeting to hear the concerns and desires of parents, educators, students and the people of Newark.

Governor, you have complete and total control over the schools—the way they are managed, the way they are funded. The Newark community has met state requirements to regain local control twice now, in 2011 and 2013. But your administration kept changing the bar, and the state remains in control.

At the very least, then, your superintendent has the obligation to listen to the people of Newark—the people who send their children to our schools, and the people who spend their working lives trying to make a difference in children’s lives.

So we’re clear, please know I don’t condone disrespectful behavior, be it at a school board meeting or when, in my opinion, you bullied teachers. However, the potential that some at a school board meeting could be boisterous does not justify the superintendent skipping it entirely.

The people of Newark want their schools back. They don’t want the One Newark plan, and they have lost faith in the way Superintendent Anderson has managed the city’s public schools.

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