Cerf Nomination Advanced By Senate Panel
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. July 26, 2012
The Senate judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to support the nomination of Chris Cerf to be New Jersey Education Commissioner. A confirmation vote in the full Senate is set for Monday.
Cerf has been heading the Education Department as Acting Commissioner for 19 months.
A practice known as senatorial courtesy allowed Senator Ron Rice of Essex County to block his confirmation.
Cerf says he leased an apartment in Montgomery in Somerset County to be closer to work in Trenton.
That explanation troubled Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Nick Scutari.
“If you would have just sat down and said I moved because of Senate rules or Senate courtesy and I had to get a residence somewhere else, I would have accepted that and moved right on, but for you to snow job me and tell you moved because you want to be closer to work, I just can not accept that.”
Despite those concerns, Scutari joined other members of the committee in voting for Cerf’s confirmation.
Senator Paul Sarlo praised Cerf’s qualifications.
“I think you have the skills, the ability, I think you have a tremendous background in education, public education, to lead us during a difficult time in the transformation of public education.”
Cerf says he’ll continue to make decisions based on what’s right for kids and will push to turn around the state’s lowest performing schools.
“A lot of the slings and arrows that I seem to have attracted in this is because I will never make a decision without first putting it through the lens is this going to advance the cause of educational equity.”
© 2012 WBGO News
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