Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R-LD40) met with teachers at the Passaic County Education Association Annual Legislative Dinner.
The discussion with the teachers’ union ranged from state employee pension and healthcare reform to the educators’ concerns over the number and value of standardized testing, particularly the PARCC tests.
Assemblyman Rooney entertained questions about school funding reform and repeated his challenge to the state’s legislative leaders issued by Gov. Christie to develop a fairer school funding formula than the one that currently exists.
The assemblyman said the concerns of the PCEA and educators throughout the state can be resolved only by lowering the volume and listening to all sides of issues.
“I have learned in life that the way to get to a resolution isn’t by preaching from a soapbox. You get there by working together and respecting the point of view of the people who don’t agree with you,” said Rooney. “There are a lot of smart people in this room and a lot of smart people in Trenton who, if they work together, can address the challenges we face in education today.
” The bottom line for me, said the assemblyman “is are we doing the best we can to educate our children and get them ready to compete in the real world which can be very unforgiving.”
Rooney said afterwards he respects the difficult job that teachers do and the high expectations placed on them.
“Teaching is hard especially in today’s climate where there are a lot of people trying to have a say in how we educate students. To be a good teacher requires a high degree of commitment to children and I certainly respect the job that teachers do,” said Rooney