JERSEY CITY, N.J. (May 4, 2012)—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday renewed their commitment to school choice and the expansion of educational options in their respective states during the American Federation for Children’s third annual National Policy Summit.
In front of a crowd of nearly 350 advocates, reformers, parents, and lawmakers, Governor Jindal highlighted the recently-passed statewide school choice expansion in Louisiana while striking a bipartisan tone in calling on both parties to embrace a broad slate of education reforms.
The governor late last month signed a comprehensive education reform package that will expand eligibility for the state’s highly-successful New Orleans voucher program to as many as 380,000 students across Louisiana.
“You’ve got the truth and the American people on your side,” Jindal told the crowd. “The truth and the people are winning when it comes to education reform.”
Earlier in the day, Governor Christie—appearing at his second National Policy Summit in three years—spoke in favor of the Opportunity Scholarship Act, proposed legislation that would create a scholarship tax credit program for students in the state’s lowest-performing schools. Though the legislation has bipartisan support in both chambers of the state legislature, it has yet to receive a vote, a fact that Christie emphasized in chastising legislators who have stood in the way of reform.
“We are fighting for this with the very people who are supposed to be elected advocates for the children who are getting the shaft,” Christie said.
“If you are ready to fight with me, I’m ready to fight with you,” Christie told audience members.
Both governors’ remarks came during the first day of the Summit, which is the nation’s premier school choice gathering and a leading national event in the intersection of education, politics, and public policy.