NJEA Endorses Barbara Buono
By Mel Fabrikant Sunday, March 17, 2013, 07:45 AM EDT
The 195,000-member New Jersey Education Association has endorsed Senator Barbara Buono for governor.
“Barbara Buono has supported public education for her entire career in the Legislature,” said NJEA President Barbara Keshishian. “She is a proud graduate of New Jersey’s public schools, and understands the vital role they play in the aspirations of middle class citizens.”
“Unfortunately, over the past three years, teachers and school employees have seen their budgets slashed, their colleagues laid off, their class sizes increased, and their programs cut. It’s time for new leadership,” said Keshishian.
“Barbara Buono will be a governor who will believe in public education and the men and women who work in our public schools,” said Keshishian. “Barbara Buono will make the right choice between tax cuts for millionaires and textbooks for schoolchildren.”
On Friday evening, the NJEA PAC Operating Committee, representing members in every county, voted unanimously to endorse Buono. Both Buono and Gov. Chris Christie were interviewed by a 15-member screening committee, which recommended Buono’s endorsement to the entire 135-member Operating Committee.
“We genuinely appreciate Governor Christie’s willingness to participate in a candid and thoughtful conversation with our screening committee,” said Keshishian.
When she appeared before several hundred NJEA members from across the state at today’s Delegate Assembly meeting in Trenton, Buono was greeted by thunderous applause.
“Barbara Buono will speak for all New Jerseyans,” said Keshishian. “Over the past three years, NJEA members and other citizens in the middle class have lost ground economically, while the state’s wealthiest citizens continue to enjoy unfair and unaffordable tax cuts.
“It’s time for a new set of priorities in Trenton,” Keshishian said. “Barbara Buono is listening to the middle class and the state’s 10 percent unemployed, and their concerns will be heard when she is elected.
“Barbara Buono rejects the misplaced priorities of the past – priorities like tax cuts for millionaires while blocking an increase in the minimum wage; shortchanging public schools while allowing property taxes to increase by 20 percent; and demanding taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools while underfunding public schools by billions of dollars,” she said.
“New Jersey and its citizens can do better, and NJEA is proud to support Barbara Buono for governor.”