Candidates Are Drawing School Choice Battle Lines in Campaign to Succeed New Jersey Gov. Christie
Education is shaping up as a major campaign issue in the race to succeed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a staunch supporter of charter schools who is term-limited. With just a few weeks to go before the June 6 primary, the gubernatorial hopefuls have expressed competing visions of what the education landscape should look like in the Garden State. Not surprisingly, the Republican candidates support the continued growth of charter schools, while the Democratic hopefuls are more skeptical. Here are a few of their positions:
- Leading Democratic candidate Phil Murphy, a retired Goldman Sachs banker, onetime U.S. ambassador to Germany, and former NAACP board member, refused to support the organization’s resolution last summer calling for a moratorium on charter schools, saying it went too far. But Murphy, who announced his candidacy even before the vote, has been walking a fine line. He told The Star-Ledger he supports high-performing charter schools — but he also favors a “time-out” on charter growth. Murphy is favored to win both the primary and the general election in November.
Democratic state Sen. John Wisniewski supports a full moratorium on charter schools.
Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli favors charter schools in failing districts but not in areas where student performance is high. He has criticized Murphy for his lackluster support of charter schools.
Christie’s lieutenant governor, Republican Kim Guadagno, used one of her first policy statements in the race to talk about her support for school choice. She also favors school vouchers.
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for The 74 Newsletter