Christie signs major teacher-tenure overhaul

MIDDLESEX - Gov. Chris Christie has signed an overhaul to New Jersey's tenure laws.

Now, it will be harder for teachers to get tenure protections and easier to lose them.

Christie signed the bill this morning at the Von E. Mauger Middle School in Middlesex.

The measure passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously in June. But Christie left some suspense over whether he would sign it.

"This is a historic day for New Jersey and this new tenure law is an important step toward ensuring we have a great teacher in every classroom," said Gov. Christie. "After more than 100 years in existence, this Administration, Legislature and key reformers have done together what many considered to be impossible."

The governor did say however he was disappointed that the measure retained seniority as the way to determine which educators will lose their jobs in case of layoffs. As he signed the bill, he said that the last-in, first-out policy should be changed and that the state should find ways to pay more to top teachers.

The compromise version of the bill had the support of many education groups, including the state's two major teachers unions.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

To watch the news conference on the teacher tenure bill overhaul, click on iO Extra on Channel 612.

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