The most distressing feature of Tuesday’s state Supreme Court ruling on pensions is its breathtakingly cruel hypocrisy. The majority, in an opinion written by Associate Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, reassures public employment retirees that it is not taking away their pensions but, at the same time, it all but prevents the state from funding those same pensions. Funding those pensions, in the words of the dissenting opinion, is now “optional.”
The Newark school board today is formally asking the state Board of Education to immediately fire Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark schools. The petition says Anderson has been “fiscally irresponsible” and has “betrayed the public trust.” The local board charges Anderson, a former campaign worker for once mayor, now U.S. Sen., Cory Booker, has made the schools in the state’s largest school district worse than they were when the state took them over 20 years ago.
A recent editorial in The Star-Ledger declared the state administration of the Newark school system “may soon be forced” to fire its “highest performing teachers” because of seniority rules. That is utter nonsense and it’s impossible to believe whoever wrote it doesn’t understand it is utter nonsense. So that makes the statement a lie, and a defamatory one at that. Why is it ok to defame teachers?