A Letter to the Editor
This is a reply to a campaign mailer from "New Jerseyans for a Better Tomorrow," a super PAC supporting the re-election of state Senate President Stephen Sweeney to his 3rd Legislative District Senate seat.
The mailer states "... Steve Sweeney is the overwhelming choice of South Jersey's teachers, parents, and students." It also states that Sweeney (D-Gloucester) is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers.
While the AFT endorsement may be true, the literature gives a false impression that the majority of educational professionals in the 3rd District also support Sweeney. The AFT does not represent one single public school K-12 teacher or support staff worker within the district. (AFT does have a local that represents higher education professionals at Rowan University.)
Sweeney has done very little to help the educational community in his district. As Senate president, he has refused to post any legislation regarding costly unfunded state testing mandates on local districts. He collaborated with Gov. Chris Christie on removing two State Board of Education members who had the courage to disagree with the governor's outlandish plan to de-professionalize certification standards for charter school teachers and administrators.
Further, Sweeney has advocated school funding changes that pit students against students and community against community. By removing some state aid that currently goes to so-called "overfunded" districts and redistributing it to "underfunded" ones, he would create sudden financial hardships on several local districts that already have approved their budgets for 2017-2018.
Sweeney is NOT the overwhelming choice of teachers in the 3rd District.
Susan Clark, President, Gloucester County Education Association, Woodbury
Editor's note: The New Jersey Education Association, the GCEA's parent union, represents most public school teachers in Gloucester County. The NJEA has endorsed Sweeney's Republican challenger, Fran Grenier, for his Senate seat in the Nov. 8 election.
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