As a candidate for the Board of Education, I realize the serious obligations that come with being a trustee. Those responsibilities start with leadership that sets a clear and understandable course for the school district. According to state law, the responsibilities for the BOE are threefold – policy-making, budget-making and choosing the superintendent to head up district operations. In execution of all three areas, the BOE member has a responsibility to follow a common course, which would then provide the public, students and staff a sense of stability that promotes confidence and better execution.
In my time in Hoboken, this utopian ideal has not occurred. Instead, various interest groups lobby effectively to promote individual agendas that stalemate the rudderless board. Valuable educational opportunities are missed, since a clear strategic plan for the Hoboken Public Schools moving progressively into the future is seldom part of the public discussion. Instead, we are treated to endless meetings about individual needs and a laundry list of line item approvals. These types of meetings only confirm the public opinion that public school management is an out-of-control bureaucracy needing serious overhaul.
In my experience with three children who have all attended the Hoboken Public Schools, nothing could be further from the truth. The schools’ staff provides a wide-range of educational opportunities and extracurricular activities that benefit not only the students, but also Hoboken as a community.
My running-mates, Kyelia Colon and Patricia Waiters, and I agree that the future will be molded by a plan that takes the best of our school system and reaches out to the community to form partnerships that increase educational value for the students and also increase the return on the taxpayers’ dollars. That’s what makes our partnership unique in this election. Since we represent a wide-range of Hoboken communities, we are capable of reaching into those communities, listening and evaluating those needs, and then planning a strategy that will result in a dynamic growth in educational opportunity for our children.
Board of Education members are called trustees, because they are entrusted with guiding our most precious possession – our children. Through the education of our children, we build our community and safeguard our future. In these difficult times, Hoboken deserves trustees that listen, analyze and lead with a firm sense of direction. That kind of leadership is nimble and courageous in tough times like these, and always insightful and inventive when planning the future.
For a bright and dynamic future, vote 3B, 6A, and 9A on Tuesday, April 20.