Which Candidate Will Stand Up for Students?

Gov. Phil Murphy earned educators’ respect by keeping his campaign promises. But don’t take our word for it: His record speaks for itself.

Share This Page
Phil Murphy
Gov. Phil Murphy (D)

56th Governor of New Jersey, running for reelection.

On the Issues

  • Funded educators’ pensions at record levels. Believing the state should keep its promises to educators, Gov. Murphy kept his 2017 campaign promise to make the state’s first full pension payment in more than 25 years—and he did so a full year ahead of schedule. Gov. Murphy’s stopped kicking the can down the road and made educators a top priority. He also worked with legislative leaders to add an additional $505 million to the full pension payment.

    Source: NJSpotlight.com, 7/8/21.

  • Gov. Murphy has funded New Jersey’s public schools at record levels. He’s increased access to pre-school for working families. He’s expanded access to tuition reimbursement for community colleges for qualified students and added an additional $5 million in state funding to community colleges. He closed the digital divide that existed in New Jersey’s public schools and continues to find fair, equitable approaches to ensuring all students across the state get what they deserve. Gov. Murphy has made education funding a top priority four years in a row.

    Source: NJSpotlight.com, 6/29/21.

  • Supports educators and unions. Working with NJEA members, Gov. Murphy signed the Chapter 78 relief bill and two ESP Job Justice bills into law. Gov. Murphy has consistently worked with educators and NJEA leaders on a wide variety of issues. He’s attended educator conferences, included educators on policy-related decisions, and has worked to restore respect and ensure all public school employees are treated with respect and dignity.

    Source: nj.com, 7/1/20.

  • Supports the recently passed LGBTQ curriculum. A champion of inclusion, diversity, and teaching the truth, Gov. Murphy signed LGBTQ curriculum into law in 2019. With Murphy’s signature, New Jersey became the second state to implement an LGBTQ inclusive curriculum. The passage of the law and subsequent implementation of the curriculum was lauded by Garden State Equality as an important marker of progress in New Jersey’s public schools.

    Source: NBC, 2/1/19.

  • Follows the science and healthcare professionals. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Murphy has followed the science and healthcare professionals as he has worked to keep New Jersey’s citizens safe. He has consistently prioritized science over politics and has focused on keeping students and staff safer during this global pandemic.

    Source: NorthJersey.com, 7/28/21.

  • Prevents further Charter School Expansion. Wants to take a “time out” on the state’s expansion of public charter schools. Believes that taxpayers deserve full oversight of the schools they fund and attend.

    Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/18.

  • Believes tax cuts for the wealthy perpetuate inequities. Has worked to increase the millionaire’s tax in New Jersey so that the state and its support of all people will be stronger and fairer. He passed a school funding overhaul that kept taxes down while supporting New Jersey’s schools in fair, equitable ways regardless of the school district.

    Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/29/20.

  • Expand Voting Rights. Gov. Murphy has focused on making it easier, not harder, for more people to vote. A believer in true democracy, Gov. Murphy believes that the more people that vote, the stronger our democracy will be.

    Source: Murphy4NJ.com, accessed 8/3/21.

Jack Ciatterelli
Jack Ciattarelli (R)

Former state-assemblyman from Somerset County.

On the Issues

  • Pensions aren’t a priority. When educators asked Jack Ciattarelli in 2015 why, as an Assemblyman, he didn’t support the state making its scheduled pension payments, he responded “life’s not fair” and dismissed our pensions as a “can that is getting kicked down the road.” He’s one of a long line of politicians who kicked that can down the road before Gov. Murphy finally took responsibility and began to fully fund our pensions.

    Source: Observer, 6/8/15.

  • Wants to “reimagine” school funding, without the details. Without discussing the specifics, Jack Ciattarelli claims his first budget would “have a new school funding formula that provides a flatter, more equitable distribution of state aid for schools.” That’s a politician’s way of saying he wants to cut funding from students who need it most. Ensuring schools in every community receive “flatter” funding would prevent our state from meeting the unique and individual needs of students and communities. It’s the opposite of an equitable approach to school funding.

    Source: wobm.com, 7/8/21.

  • Opposes educator unions and aims to divide members. Stealing a trick from his political hero, former Gov. Chris Christie, Jack Ciattarelli uses divisive rhetoric to try to divide educators from their union. He was invited twice and twice refused to show up for the NJEA political endorsement screening process. Instead of being honest about his positions, on education issues, he blamed the NJEA members who make up the Political Action Committee for not changing the rules to give him special treatment.

    Source: New Jersey Globe, 6/11/21.

  • “We’re going to roll back the LGBTQ curriculum. It goes too far,” says Ciattarelli, who aims to remove the LGBTQ Curriculum from schools. He has used derogatory language while falsely claiming the LGBTQ curriculum exposes young children to explicit sexual acts. He believes that the LGBTQ curriculum should be repealed from New Jersey school curriculum and that the contributions of the LGBTQ people should be kept out of schools.

    Source: nj.com, 7/21/21.

  • An extreme position. Jack Ciattarelli continues to allow political jockeying to guide his decision-making. He’s claimed that no students should be required to wear masks in schools, and taking an extreme step beyond COVID-19 vaccines, he has claimed that NO vaccines should be mandated in the state of New Jersey, many of which have helped to keep thousands of people safe from deadly diseases like the measles and mumps.

    Sources: NJInsider.com, 7/27/21; Jack4NJ on YouTube, 5/30/21.

  • Supports school choice. Wrongly believes that charter schools make for stronger communities and says he “will always support school choice in New Jersey” even though those programs divert needed funding from accountable public schools.

    Source: @Jack4NJ on Twitter, 7/28/21.

  • Wants to cut taxes for millionaires. A believer in trickle-down economics, he wants to gift steep income tax cuts to the wealthiest New Jerseyans and big businesses, too. Ciattarelli even wants to redistribute school aid to siphon tax dollars from under-resourced school districts and redistribute it to wealthy, suburban districts.

    Source: NJ.com, 7/26/21.

  • Restrict voting rights. Ciattarelli wants to make it more difficult for more people to vote. He wants to institute stricter “voter identification, polling machine uniformity across counties, voter purges unpegged from federal election cycles and early in-person voting.” His own political ambition outweighs his support for democracy.

    Source: New Jersey Globe, 3/30/21.

Before You Vote, Make Sure You Know Who’s on the Ballot

Type your home address, city, state and ZIP code into the field below.


More from NJEA

NJEA logo
Learn about NJEA
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy
Find out why we support Gov. Murphy
New Jersey State House
See our other endorsements

Paid for by NEA Fund for Children & Public Education, 1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036