N.J. Education commissioner admits mistakes in union deal

    New Jersey’s Education Commissioner is taking the blame for making a compromise with the teachers’ union without the governor’s approval.

    New Jersey’s Education Commissioner is taking the blame for making a compromise with the teachers’ union without the governor’s approval.

    Bret Schundler admits he made a mistake. His agreement with the New Jersey Education Association called for the state to back off on its push for merit pay for teachers and rely on seniority in determining layoffs.

    “It’s not myself who gets to make these final decisions for the state of New Jersey,” says Schundler. “It is the governor. And I think the real error was in my not going to him and presenting this before saying yes to the NJEA.”

    After Governor Christie rejected Schundler’s compromise and publicly criticized him for making it, Schundler says he’ll now check with Christie before making policy decisions.

    He says he has not considered resigning because of the controversy and hopes he can still be an effective commissioner.

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