Current Happenings!!

Override of Christie Pension Veto Fails

Nine senators flip-flop on responsible funding

Published on Thursday, December 18, 2014

 Pension Lobby Day
NJEA officers and NJREA, NJEA, and NJSEA members filled the Senate gallery in support of a vote to override Gov. Christie’s veto of S-2265, which would have compelled the state to make quarterly payments into the pension fund. The override failed to reach the necessary two-thirds majority with a vote of 25-12.

Despite voting overwhelmingly for it last June, the Senate today was unable to override Gov. Christie’s veto of S-2265.  That bill would have required the state to make responsible quarterly pension payments, and would have taken away the Governor’s ability to promise a payment at the beginning of the budget year then break his promise at the last minute, as he did last year.

The bill originally passed the Senate by a vote of 36-3, but when it came time to stand by that vote for fiscal responsibility, nine Republican senators flip-flopped and voted against requiring a fiscally responsible pension funding schedule. Sen. Michael Doherty was the lone Republican to vote in favor of the override.

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer released a statement expressing his disappointment:

“Today’s Senate vote, which failed to override Gov. Christie’s veto of S-2265 represents another triumph of partisan politics over responsible pension policy in New Jersey.  Nine senators who saw the wisdom of regular quarterly pension payments back in June were unwilling to take a stand against Gov. Christie’s ongoing pension gamesmanship.  While the majority of senators have shown that they are ready to move beyond the failed policies of the past, a minority is still willing to jeopardize New Jersey’s fiscal future for political expediency.

Pension Lobby Day
From left: Roger Knauss, Walter Krichling and Charlie Moses were among the dozens of NJREA members who with NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller and NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer lobbied for the override of Gov. Christie’s veto of S-2265.

“This unfortunate failure by a handful of senators will not stop NJEA from fighting for sound pension funding practices that are in the best interests of both pension plan members and all New Jersey taxpayers.  We will continue to pursue aggressive legal action against Gov. Christie and to work with responsible legislators from both parties to restore New Jersey’s pension funds to fiscal health.

“I want to personally thank Senate President Steve Sweeney for putting this up for a vote.  It demonstrates his willingness to take this issue seriously, and provides hope for better outcomes in the future. ”


                       PUBLIC EDUCATION!

Taking Action


Published on Thursday, May 22, 2014

When Gov. Christie announced his illegal plan to slash pension funding, the unions representing public employees vowed to sue to protect our members’ rights. Together, we are moving forward to file that suit quickly.

But you can do even more.  Under the law governing pension payments, the pension plans themselves have the right to sue if the state fails to make its full, required contribution. We are urging pension plan members to demand that the board of their fund sue on their behalf as well.

Please take a few minutes to send a letter to your pension board.  The legal language is provided for you.  You simply provide the requested information.  We will print and submit your letter to the secretary of your pension fund.

Choose your fund to submit your letter today!



Click the link below to watch the video.



Charles Swindoll

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.



1. Know the issues.

2. Learn how people and organizations work.

3. Accept differences in ways that will allow you to overcome stereotypes and deal realistically with others.

4. Speak with respect; avoid words and behaviors that might offend or put down others.

5. Learn from each other.

6. Pay attention to others by giving them recognition.

7. Create agreements that work.

Current Updates

Congratulations to our Teachers of The Year :
Keri Lippman                        Lakewood Early Childhood Center
Cecelia Ding                         Clifton Avenue Grade School
Alyson Szczygiel                    Ella G. Clarke School
Jennifer Capper-Patterson      Oak Street School
Mariana DeSilvestri                Spruce Street School
Kimberly Veltre                      Lakewood Middle School

Kevin Walters                        Lakewood High School


When the Assembly Education Committee invited NJEA President Wendell Steinhau- er to testify on the implementation of the Common Core

But if the standards are so good, why did legislators call for a hearing on the Common Core?

Steinhauer believes that two major problems are undermining confidence in the new standards and their effectiveness in the classroom: implementation and

the curriculum to meet those standards for the particular students they are teaching. Teachers also need time and professional learning opportunities to adjust their teach- ing strategies appropriately.

“It’s hard work, and it’s time consum- ing,” he said. “Without proper implementa- tion, the Common Core has no value to students. It’s a bit like buying a top-of-the- line luxury car, but not putting any gas in the tank.”

Steinhauer maintains that “the rushed, misguided implementation of the new evaluation system, and especially of the PARCC testing that too much of it is built around, is dragging Common Core down with it in the court of teacher and public opinion.”

While the Common Core demands col- laboration, “teachers are being subjected at the same time to an evaluation system that emphasizes student test scores. That means that they are held personally responsible for those students’ test scores,” he said.

“Teachers in tested subjects will be
left with no choice but to focus on test preparation, and we’ve seen the damage done by that under No Child Left Behind,” Steinhauer reminded legislators.

In order to effectively implement the Common Core, the NJEA president called for more time and an evaluation system that recognizes the kind of collaborative teaching that the standards require.

“You cannot have standards and a cur- riculum that make teaching and learning a shared responsibility succeed alongside an evaluation system that says the very opposite,” Steinhauer said.

Any hopes for a successful transition to the Common Core and a meaningful teacher evaluation system in New Jersey “must begin with the recognition that student learning is far too complex and important to be boiled down to so-called student growth percentiles based on stan- dardized tests, with the results assigned to individual teachers,” concluded Steinhauer.

You can see a video of Steinhauer’s testimony on or click on the link below to watch on youtube:

Lakewood Education Association

“United We Stand, Divided We Beg”


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