Hometown: Brick, NJ
Occupation: High School Chemistry Teacher
Top 3 Issues: School funding; protecting the Barnegat Bay; and vocational education
Favorite thing about NJ: “Its diversity. I value everyone’s input. I think it’s awesome we’re so close to New York City, we have the beach, we have sports, we have a lot of different things going on so you can pick and choose what you want to do in New Jersey.”
Social Media: Facebook
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As a high school chemistry teacher, I am proud to be part of a public education system that is ranked second in the nation, which is producing the leaders and innovators of tomorrow and preparing our young people to pursue their dreams. New Jersey should celebrate its top-notch public schools and public-school teachers. Good schools ensure the future for the next generation, uplift and strengthen our communities, as well as increase our property values. Instead, we demonize teachers for wanting to earn a fair wage and a secure retirement. We pit school children, who deserve an education, against taxpayers who can’t be squeezed any tighter. It doesn’t make any sense.
I am Erin Wheeler and I am running for State Assembly in Legislative District 10 in Ocean County. Trenton cut tens of millions of dollars in state aid from schools in our district this year. These cuts will force severe reductions in programs and staff — or, force local taxpayers to make up the difference. Our legislators let this happen. Someone should have been fighting for us in Trenton, but no one was.
I want to change that. I want to be an advocate for Ocean County and fight for our fair share. New Jersey homeowners need property tax relief. But, New Jersey can’t afford to fix its property tax problem on the backs of its schools and teachers, and it can’t afford to let teaching become a profession of last resort. When schools fail, communities fail. The consequences extend far beyond the classroom. Good schools require good teachers. We must protect the teaching profession so that it continues to attract the best and brightest. We all have a stake in the quality of our schools and must move beyond the dysfunctional dynamic of students versus taxpayers and find a solution for funding public education. Legislative District 10 is the heart of the Jersey Shore - which sustained some of the worst impacts of Superstorm Sandy.
We have never fully recovered the tax base the storm destroyed. We live with the threat and consequences of extreme weather. The Barnegat Bay – a $4 billion economic engine supporting our local economy is dying due to the impacts of pollution, overdevelopment and poor land-use planning. As a science teacher, I believe in science and facts. This is the science. These are the facts. There are no quick fixes to our problems, but Trenton has stopped trying. We need new leaders who will move beyond business as usual and who will work for solutions that serve the best interests of the people.
We need new people in the State House with new ideas and I am just that person. I look forward to working for ‘our fair share’ for Legislative District 10 and a better tomorrow for the people of New Jersey.