GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE:*Over 100,000 students just like that one are trapped in nearly 200 failing schools. This awful situation, it is obscene, it is unacceptable in New Jersey and we must change it now. We made some progress this year, with the inter-district choice bill, with the expansion of charter schools, and with Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s landmark $100 million gift to the city of Newark. I thank Mr. Zuckerberg, and I look forward to continuing my work with Mayor Cory Booker to reform Newarkâ€™s schools. Weâ€™ve got work to do Cory. But we need to tell those children, and their families, trapped in these failing schools that we are comingâ€” so before this Legislature goes home we will give them more help toward improvement, more hope, and more choice. Our commitment to these principles is why I have asked, and I am honored to have, my friend, former D.C. Schools Chancellor, Michelle Rhee in this chamber today sitting with Mary Pat. No one in America has been more clear that we must change our public education system â€” from one that caters to the feelings of adults to one that prepares our children for the the 21st century. Michelle, thanks for coming today, and I want you to count New Jersey among those who are finally putting our students first. Thank you Michelle. We have work to do. We must expand the charter school program beyond the six we approved this year and the 73 operating in New Jersey. That is a top priority.
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