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Christie Slams N.J. Teacher Union, Calls For Ed. Reform

WAYNE, N.J. (CBS 2) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie returned from the Labor Day holiday in attack mode.

Christie is hitting the road in the first of a series of town hall meetings throughout the Garden State.

First on his agenda? Education.

The Republican didn't hold back Tuesday as he pushed for a series of initiatives at a town hall meeting at Packanack Lake in Wayne.

The governor said he wants education and ethics reforms voted on by the legislature before Christmas.

"I don't believe those of you in this room who voted for me elected me to run a charm school," Christie said at the meeting. "I believe in the last eight months, I have proven you right."

Among the ideas the governor is pushing is paying for teachers based on their performance.

Nancy Brillo, an educator and mother of two, said the governor is destroying the education system by withholding aid to districts.

"My babies are just starting their education journey and class sizes are going to increase," she said. "Programs are going to be cut."

Jamie De Visser, also a Wayne resident, supports the governor.

"I think he's doing the right thing," said the mother of two. "I think teachers should be merited every year."

The governor also lashed out at the teacher's union for not agreeing to wage freezes.

"The union's response was 'this was the greatest assault on education,' because I asked for a wage freeze," Christie said. "It's the kind of stupid stuff they say that gives them no credibility."

Democratic legislators told CBS 2's Christine Sloan they won't work on "Christie's Deadline," as they called it – they will take their time.

The Wayne community held only the first of many town hall meetings the governor plans on hosting. On Wednesday he'll be in Raritan Township to discuss ethics reform.

The governor also wants legislators to disclose their personal financial statements like he has, saying elected politicians shouldn't hold more than one government job.

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