NJEA backing David Hespe’s nomination as next state education commissioner

So is it safe to say the New Jersey teacher’s union hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with Gov. Chris Christie? Ask New Jersey Education Association spokeswoman Dawn Hiltner that question, and you’ll get a laugh tinged with bitterness.

But one issue on which the NJEA and Christie agree is the suitability of David Hespe as head of the New Jersey Education Department. Hespe, a former president of Burlington County College, has served as acting head of the department since March after Chris Cerf’s resignation.

This week, a Senate panel gave him unanimous approval. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the full Senate will likely vote on his appointment next week.

According to Hiltner, the NJEA had no complaints about Hespe’s former term as Education Commissioner from 1999 through 2001.

“We always had a very good working relationship with him,” Hiltner said. “He’s a smart guy. He’s very reasonable. He’s willing to listen to all sides.”

___________________________________________

This post is part of our South Jersey Politics Blog.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.