Chris Christie hasn’t been governor for 624 days, but Gov. Phil Murphy still doesn’t have any of his own appointees on the New Jersey State Board of Education.
That has left the governor without the votes to approve some key initiatives on the panel that sets some key education policy in the state, including graduation requirements and standardized tests.
On the agenda for today’s state school board meeting was the Murphy administration’s proposal to reduce the total number of tests needed for high school graduation.
The board voted to table the proposal to the November meeting – a point where their legal authority to adopt Murphy’s proposal may be expired. That’s the penalty for a governor who inherits his predecessors’ votes.
Murphy has only made one nomination to the board: Mark Biedron, a Republican who was dumped in 2016 after not blindly supporting Christie’s initiatives.
While Biedron has received sign-off from State Senators Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg) and Michael Doherty (R-Oxford), his nomination has been stalled for fourteen months in the Senate – another example of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s outsized influence over the governor’s office.
Mary Elizabeth Gazi, who worked with Christie at his old law firm, remains on the board in holdover status.