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Governor Christie: This Is A Great Day For Good Teachers

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Published on Aug 6, 2012

Teacher Tenure Reform Bill Signing. August 6, 2012 (Transcript Below)

Governor Christie: First and foremost I want to thank the Senate President. He is absolutely right. We have worked together to try to effectuate significant change in this state on a number of different issues and I know that there are any number of times that he gets a lot of heat from some of the more partisan members of his party who say to him that you know he's a Republican, you shouldn't work with him. We should just do everything we can to stymie him and not let him have any accomplishments. The Senate President and I don't agree on everything and when we've disagreed, we disagree loudly and publicly. But when we do agree, we're willing to work together to make something happen. So I first want to thank him for his willingness to do exactly what he just said in his introduction to me, get things done.

I want to thank the folks at the New Jersey Education Association, the New Jersey School Boards Association and the AFT. The fact of the matter is that this was not going to get done without their input, their support and their help and so I want to thank them for their willingness to come to the table, work with the Commissioner, work with the members of the legislature to come up with a bill that is meaningful and important. I know it's not everything they wanted to have happen. I know it's not everything I wanted to have happen but as Steve said, it is a very, very significant piece of legislation and I want to thank their leadership for their willingness to step forward and be participants in what I think going forward will be seen as a very important step in trying to make sure that the excellence in most of the schools in New Jersey is extended to all of the schools in New Jersey.

There's no issue that I've dealt with as Governor that's more important than public education to me. I'm a product of the public schools in this state and my parents moved me from the city of Newark when I was five years old to Livingston because they believed that I could get a great public education there and they were right, I did. And I would not be standing here but for them making that decision to move me to where I was moved and to give me the opportunity to be in an outstanding public school system with great teachers who care deeply about the success of their students every day. I want that for every child in this state and this is a first step in getting that done. We should be satisfied in one respect with the great education that so many of our children in this state are afforded every day and we should celebrate it. But we should not use it as a shield or an excuse to accept mediocrity or failure any place else. Because every child's life is precious, every child's life is precious. Every child's dreams are a gift from God. All of them have to be treated with the same level of respect and attention and so I'm going to continue to speak out on these issues in a way that I hope is productive and that will continue to be as productive as it was in reaching this result today. So to all the members of the legislature who are here, to the other elected officials like County Executive Joe DiVincenzo who was incredibly supportive of this effort, I say it's a great day. A great day for all of us. A great day for the people who dedicate their lives to education every day and a great day for good teachers. Because good teachers will do very well under this system. Because every good teacher in front of a classroom is a treasure for the parents who send their children and for the children who go there to learn.

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