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(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Wednesday on the Christie administration education and tenure proposals:

“We will review this plan, but will do so knowing that solving the problems facing our poorest children in failing in urban schools is more complicated than throwing around slogans and blaming teacher job protections.
“Our poorest children and their families are each and every day facing social and economic problems that have a direct negative impact on the ability to learn. We will not solve the problems facing failing schools until we also confront the consequences of poverty.
“One cannot claim to be helping poor children when they’re also cutting the school breakfast program, raising income taxes on working poor parents and reducing access to health care for low-income mothers and their newborn babies.
“The Assembly is prepared to work cooperatively to advance responsible education reforms, but is not ready to cast blame on teachers who in many of these failing schools are quite simply real-life heroes.”