NJ Union Chief on School Choice: ‘Life’s Not Fair’

In an argument against the implementation of a state school vouchers system, New Jersey Education Association Executive Director Vincent Giordano was recorded to have remarked “life’s not always fair”, in response to the call for a system that would see more poor students sent to private schools.

Christie, who has clashed repeatedly with the union, said that the remark was “outrageous” and has called for Vincent Giordano, whose own salary tops $300,000, to resign, reports Fox News.

In an interview over the weekend, Giordano answered a question on why low-income families should not have the same options as other families when their child is in a failing school.

He said:

“Those parents should have exactly the same options and they do. We don’t say that you can’t take your kid out of the public school. We would argue not and we would say ‘let’s work more closely and more harmoniously.”

When asked how families could afford to finance a move from public to private schooling, Giordano said:

“Well, you know, life’s not always fair and I’m sorry about that.”

Giordano responded through a NJEA statement, saying:

“Governor Christie has stooped to a new low, even by his own standards.  In his personal attack on me, NJEA president Barbara Keshishian and the New Jersey Education Association, he has demonstrated that there is no limit to his willingness to twist, distort and misrepresent the facts in a situation to satisfy his voracious appetite for political vengeance.

“I have no intention of resigning.  If he thinks he’s going to bully me like he bullies everyone else, he doesn’t understand who I am, or how deeply I care about the work I do.  I have too much important work to do protecting New Jersey’s public schools from the disastrous education policies of this governor.  In just two years he has done more damage to education than I have seen in nearly 50 years of service as a teacher and advocate for public schools.”

Giordano said the NJEA supports better funding for urban schools.

“I am proud of my record and NJEA’s record of standing up for innovation in public education on issues ranging from charter schools to magnet schools to intradistrict school choice to Renaissance schools.  And I do not apologize for our strong stand against efforts to strip resources from struggling urban schools to subsidize private school operators’ profits, as the voucher bill advocated by the Governor would.”