State of New Jersey Archives: on Education


Ray Lesniak: Invest in education, for the future of our society

Senator Lesniak support President Obama's plan to cap loan payments after graduation at 10% of take home income. "With the high cost of college, most students graduate with loans that are difficult to repay. President Obama's plan will make these payments, based on income, more manageable and give student graduates a better opportunity to move forward with their lives," explained Senator Lesniak.

Senator Lesniak also supports a $750 million bond authorization to help build and renovate campus facilities. "Investing in education, primary, secondary and higher education, is the best investment any government or family can make. For the future of our society and our children, we must work together to advance education opportunities. Making repayment of college loans more affordable, and improving classrooms, labs, & other college facilities will help families send off their children to college and help colleges provide a better quality of education for their students," said Senator Lesniak

Source: 2016-17 N.J. Governor campaign website, RaymondLesniak.com

Steve Fulop: Returned city public school system from state control

26 years ago, Jersey City became the first city to lose control of its public schools--and hand them over to the state. Today, we are a step away from becoming the first city to get that authority back.

This is a story about policy & public education. It's a story about returning control of public schools to where it should be: local. But it's also a story about something more fundamental--about remembering who our schools, our community is supposed to serve: kids.

In 1989, when the papers reported on why Jersey City schools were being turned over to the state, they said the schools were "crippled by political patronage and nepotism, weak administration and management, fiscal irregularities, and indifference." And they weren't wrong. We had schools that didn't put students first. Someone said we were suffering from "academic bankruptcy."

We have rebuilt "our academic credit." Of course, this is just the beginning. Local control does not mean our schools can't improve. They can. They will.

Source: 2016-17 N.J. gubernatorial campaign website, StevenFulop.com Nov 1, 2015

Tom MacArthur: Tenure reform & charter schools; but public schools too

Tom believes education is the key to success for future generations, and will fight to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive the education they need to compete in a rapidly-changing world. Tom believes states, local school districts, parents and teachers are far better equipped to shape the education our children receive, as opposed to federal bureaucrats in Washington, DC. Tom supports bipartisan efforts to implement tenure reform, reward highly effective teachers and demand accountability on how tax dollars are spent. He is a strong advocate of investing in public education, but also supports the development of Charter Schools, especially in failing school districts, which create competition and give every child and their parents the ability to seek better educational opportunities.
Source: 2014 N.J. House campaign website, TMac4congress.com Nov 4, 2014

Jeff Bell: Expand school choice via Education Savings Accounts

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: The opportunity for a quality education should not depend on where a child lives. That's why programs to expand school choice, through vouchers and tax credits, have been worthwhile for those states that have done it. However, I believe Education Savings Accounts as pioneered by the Goldwater Institute in Arizona make the most sense as the appropriate vehicle for school choice. These provide parents with a pre-funded account (for Arizona, it's 90% of average student spending) to can be used to not only purchase tuition, but also textbooks, education therapies, and tutoring. This provides for a holistic funding mechanism for education where we fund children rather than institutions and spending decisions are in the hands of parents, not bureaucracies.

Source: Email interview for 2014 N.J. Senate race with OnTheIssues Jul 1, 2014

Jeff Bell: I support prayer in schools

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Keep God in the public sphere"?

A: I support prayer in schools and public displays of religion.

Source: Email interview for 2014 N.J. Senate race with OnTheIssues Jul 1, 2014

Cory Booker: Supports school voucher proposal, like other Democrats

U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt took some shots at Booker, mostly for his support of a school voucher proposal offered by Gov. Chris Christie. "I very much disagree with Mayor Booker on this. I do not believe that vouchers are the answer," Pallone said. "I'm very concerned about how vouchers, which he supports, will take away funding from public schools. I believe in public schools."

When Booker responded that he, too, believes in public schools and that he helped bring $100 million in philanthropic funds into the city's school system, Booker said both Pallone and Holt had voted in favor of the Washington DC Opportunity Scholarship Program--a voucher-like program that gives scholarships to low-income children. "While they're criticizing me I'd like them both to explain why they voted for the same position I have," Booker said. The vote Booker referenced was actually a much larger appropriations bill that included the program.

Source: Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate Aug 5, 2013

Rush Holt: Investments in higher education keep American Dream alive

Holt said he has focused on education and research in his 14 years in the House, serving on the Committee on Education and the Workforce to create a "stronger, more secure middle class."

"These are the investments that kept the American Dream alive in the 20th century--investments such as the GI Bill, which made it possible for a young Frank Lautenberg to go to college, to build a business and to join the United States Senate," Holt said.

Source: The Times of Trenton on 2013 N.J. Senate race Jun 7, 2013

Barbara Buono: Provide equitable K-12 funding across New Jersey

Nothing is more important to NJ's future than an educated workforce that can compete in the global economy and start new businesses right here in our state. Barbara has been a tireless advocate for providing equitable K-12 funding across New Jersey, and fought Gov. Christie's efforts to cut $820 million in education funding.

She has stood up to Christie when he's attempted to scapegoat our teachers rather than give them the tools they need. And Barbara knows that we need rigorous standards as well as expanded early-learning programs so that we ensure every child can meet those standards.

When it comes to higher education, too many New Jersey families are finding college out of reach because of spiraling tuition costs that are rising far faster than inflation. Barbara will work to hold down tuition costs while partnering businesses with New Jersey's colleges; so students get the skills they need for good jobs.

Source: N.J. Gubernatorial 2013 website, buonoforgovernor.com Apr 25, 2013

Chris Christie: Combine $8.9B in more funding with needed reform

A top priority must be to continue New Jersey's record of excellence in education, and to fix problems where we are failing:And finally, investing the largest amount of state aid to education in NJ history- $8.9 billion in this year's budget, over $1 billion higher than in Fiscal Year 2011. In NJ, we have combined more funding with needed reform. Both money and reform of our schools are essential, but neither alone is sufficient. In NJ, we are leading the way for the nation by providing both.
Source: N.J. 2013 State of the State Address Jan 8, 2013

Chris Christie: Replace Abbott District funds with tenure reform & charters

Let's face it: more money does not necessarily lead to a better education. It is time to admit that the Supreme Court's grand experiment with NJ children is a failure. 63% of state aid over the years has gone to the Abbott Districts and the schools are still predominantly failing. It isn't working for children in failing districts, it is unfair to the other 557 school districts and to our state's taxpayers. My proposals reflect the intention we should all have: to put children first:
  1. reform tenure--by taking it away from those whose ratings are unacceptably weak.
  2. if layoffs are necessary remove the least effective teachers instead of just the most junior ones.
  3. pay teachers more when they are assigned to a failing school or to teach a difficult subject.
  4. end forced placements--teachers should not be assigned to schools without the mutual consent of the teacher and the principal.
  5. reform our process for authorizing charter schools to focus on our failing school districts
Source: N.J. 2012 State of the State Address Jan 17, 2012

Chris Christie: Expand 73 charter schools to replace 200 failing schools

We cannot ask children and families stuck in chronically failing public schools to wait any longer. It is not acceptable that a child who is neglected in a New Jersey school must accept it because of their zip code. We must give parents and children a choice to attend better schools.

Over 100,000 students are trapped in nearly 200 failing schools. We need to tell those children, and those families, trapped in poor schools that we are coming--and that before this Legislature goes home we will give them more help toward improvement, more hope, and more choice. We must expand the charter school program beyond the six we approved this year and the 73 operating in New Jersey. That is a top priority. I am ready to work with the Legislature to attract the best charter school operators in America to New Jersey; to increase our authorizing capacity so they can start charter schools here; & to implement the interdistrict school choice law we passed last year.

Source: 2011 N.J. State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Cory Booker: $120 million for "Teachers Village" where educators live

In progress [under Booker's mayoral office]: a $120 million plan to create a "Teachers Village," with charter schools as well as housing and retail that will be marketed to educators from nearby colleges like Rutgers and Seton Hall, giving them some incentive to live where they work.
Source: Oprah Magazine on 2013 N.J. Senate race Sep 1, 2010

Chris Christie: Build up colleges to support business, & avoid "brain drain"

Chris Christie spoke directly to students today, telling a small group at Raritan Valley Community College that New Jersey was not doing enough to fund their educations. "Over the last eight years, this state has done an awful job supporting higher education in New Jersey," Christie said, adding that state aid to colleges and universities is down 2% in that time period.

The result of that is what the former U.S. Attorney calls the "brain drain"--referring to trends that show fewer high school graduates stay in New Jersey for college, and those who do end up leaving after earning a diploma.

Lagging colleges also lead business leaders to see the state differently. Companies seek to have long-term, "intellectual relationships" with educational institutions but might not be able to if schools aren't built up enough to attract students, he said. Businesses need access to practical and research support from colleges, as well as a trained workforce, he said.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage: 2009 N.J. gubernatorial debates Jul 29, 2009

Chris Daggett: Names educator, Prof. Frank Esposito, as running-mate

Independent candidate Chris Daggett named a veteran educator as his running mate. Daggett is tapping Frank J. Esposito, a professor and former administrator at Kean University in Union, as his lieutenant governor nominee. Esposito said earlier in the week that reinvesting in education is key to pulling New Jersey out of the economic downturn.
Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage: 2009 N.J. gubernatorial debates Jul 29, 2009

Murray Sabrin: Federal tax credits to enroll children in successful school

The solutions to our nation's problems and the message of my campaign are to promote freedom. Every year the government takes more and more of our freedoms from us. The Sabrin Solution has three principles and goals:
  1. secure our country from both foreign terror and illegal immigration
  2. secure our economic future by getting government off our backs and out of our wallets, and
  3. securing our education for our children by introducing competition into the failed educational bureaucracy.
The third principle and goal is to secure the future of our country's children. Parents are forced to send their children to failing schools and tax-payers are forced to continue to pay for failure. History has shown us when you reward failure--you get more failure. We need to give parents federal tax credits to give them the freedom to enroll their children in a successful school or to home school. If we don't fix our educational system we will continue down a slippery slope.
Source: 2008 N.J. Senate campaign website MurraySabrin.com Nov 1, 2008

Robert Menendez: Democrats pushed college tuition tax deductions

Unlike my opponent, I believe that wealth and privilege ought not to be the only tickets to higher education. Just last week, I joined my Democratic colleagues in the Senate and tried to extend the deduction for college tuition-which the Bush Republicans blocked. Each year, more than 120,000 New Jersey families and students claim this deduction on their taxes. Yet, the Bush Republicans in Congress let this deduction expire at the end of last year. And, they have not acted to extend it. In fact, the Bush Republicans actually stripped it out of a tax package the Senate passed in February in favor of more tax cuts for capital gains and dividends - the very same cuts Pro-Bush Tom Kean Jr. has been touting as a top priority on the campaign trail. I fought to try and extend the deduction. If Tom Kean Jr. was in D.C. he simply would have marched in lock-step with his fellow Bush Republicans. My opponent stands with Bush in cutting aid to higher education. I’m standing up for you.
Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 2, 2006

Robert Menendez: Reducing duplication is no solution for education problems

Q: How should the national government should deal with rising college costs?

KEAN: It is vital that we ensure that aid to low-income students is our principle goal and the first priority of the system must be direct aid to students. We must reduce fraud in the current system. Pell Grant fraud cost $600 million between 2001 to 2004. Through the use of technology, we can curb systemic fraudulent abuse of the system. We should look for ways to merge duplicative programs and streamline federal regulation to provide additional savings.

MENENDEZ: My opponent isn’t interested in more funding and research for New Jersey’s public colleges and universities. Calling to combine a few federal programs is not a solution. In the state senate, Tom Kean Jr. consistently voted against state budgets providing financial aid for higher education. And, now he is merely providing cookie-cutter rhetoric to legitimate questions as to how we can expand access to the halls of higher learning.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate [X-ref Kean] Sep 2, 2006

Robert Menendez: Educational Savings Accounts are only for the wealthy

Q: Do you favor any changes in the array of grants and loans available to prospective college students?

KEAN: While my opponent voted against the creation of Educational Savings Accounts, I believe they are an important component in providing educational opportunities for young people and parents. Parents and others can contribute collectively up to $2,000 each year to a Coverdell education savings account to be used for qualified educational expenses, like home computers, books, supplies, after-school programs, tuition, and tutoring programs. I think Congress should provide tax deductibility as an incentive to spur greater savings.

MENENDEZ: Tom Kean Jr. has no plan to help New Jersey’s families pay for college. And, he has no plan to increase financial aid. The only plan Tom Kean Jr. has-on this and nearly every issue-is to do whatever President Bush tells him to. Unlike my opponent, I believe that wealth and privilege ought not to be the only tickets to higher education.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate [X-ref Kean] Sep 2, 2006

Thomas Kean Jr.: Focus on reducing fraud and duplication in Pell Grants

Q: How should the national government should deal with rising college costs?

KEAN: It is vital that we ensure that aid to low-income students is our principle goal and the first priority of the system must be direct aid to students. We must reduce fraud in the current system. Pell Grant fraud cost $600 million between 2001 to 2004. Through the use of technology, we can curb systemic fraudulent abuse of the system. We should look for ways to merge duplicative programs and streamline federal regulation to provide additional savings.

MENENDEZ: My opponent isn’t interested in more funding and research for New Jersey’s public colleges and universities. Calling to combine a few federal programs is not a solution. In the state senate, Tom Kean Jr. consistently voted against state budgets providing financial aid for higher education. And, now he is merely providing cookie-cutter rhetoric to legitimate questions as to how we can expand access to the halls of higher learning.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 2, 2006

Thomas Kean Jr.: Supports Educational Savings Accounts for college

Q: Do you favor any changes in the array of grants and loans available to prospective college students?

KEAN: While my opponent voted against the creation of Educational Savings Accounts, I believe they are an important component in providing educational opportunities for young people and parents. Parents and others can contribute collectively up to $2,000 each year to a Coverdell education savings account to be used for qualified educational expenses, like home computers, books, supplies, after-school programs, tuition, and tutoring programs. I think Congress should provide tax deductibility as an incentive to spur greater savings.

MENENDEZ: Tom Kean Jr. has no plan to help New Jersey’s families pay for college. And, he has no plan to increase financial aid. The only plan Tom Kean Jr. has-on this and nearly every issue-is to do whatever President Bush tells him to. Unlike my opponent, I believe that wealth and privilege ought not to be the only tickets to higher education.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 2, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of New Jersey Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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