Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Governor Chris Christie, Mayor Cory Booker Put New Jersey Children Ahead of Partisan Politics

Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2010.

It's usually tough to find common ground in today's often bitterly partisan political landscape.  But two of New Jersey's most prominent chief executives are doing their best to change that. 

Instead of focusing on issues on which they don't agree, Republican Governor Chris Christie and Democratic Mayor Cory Booker -- both of whom will be giving keynote addresses at next month's AFC National Policy Summit -- may not agree on much, they do agree on providing children from low-income families the opportunity to access a quality education.  And that is something to celebrate!

While they have among the brightest futures in their respective parties, they're concerned less with running for the next office and more with working to reform New Jersey's education system for the betterment of the state's kids.

Christie has championed the Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA), which would create a corporate scholarship tax credit program for children in the state's lowest-performing school districts, since he took office in January 2010.  He's made the OSA a top priority entering the legislative session, and it's expected to be considered by the legislature later this spring.  Booker, who became Newark's mayor in 2007, last year testified passionately in favor of the OSA and has been an outspoken supporter of Christie's education reform agenda.

Limited to a few districts, including Newark, the OSA would grant scholarships that are capped at $6,000 for elementary school students and $9,000 for high school students.  The legislation—Assembly Bill 2830 and Senate Bill 1779—has bipartisan support in both chambers.

Called a “political odd couple” by the New York Times, Booker and Christie will both speak at the AFC National Policy Summit on May 3 and 4. Make sure you register for the Summit to see this dynamic duo and what they have to say about school choice in New Jersey and nationwide.

For more information or to register, visit

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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