This week, city council voted on a resolution to determine whether members of the Jersey City Board of Education would continue to be elected by the public or be appointed by the mayor. According to the city, the appointments are proposed with the goal of restoring the schools to work to everyone’s benefit.
The biggest problem addressed by residents during the meeting is that Jersey City has seen this before, and it didn’t work. Back in the 1980s, the city was accused of politicizing the school board and using the school budget on the wrong things. The state took over the Jersey City Board of Education until 2008. Residents of Jersey City just want to avoid repeating history’s mistakes.
Stream by Hudson County View
Dozens of residents gathered at City Hall to speak out against the resolution, sharing their concerns with the mayor having control over the school board. Members of the school board are currently voted in by residents; the members represent the communities within Jersey City and voters have the chance to choose who they find best to run the school system. In opposition to the resolution, residents also noted that the mayor’s appointment of Sudhan Thomas was met with an unfortunate result – an indictment charge for embezzlement.
While the mayor’s intentions are focused on helping the school system, it’s understandable for residents to be skeptical based on poor choices by the city’s past mayor. Fulop has shared that, if the measure were to pass, this would be only be temporary; if it happens to not work out as they planned, it would go back to the current election process.
Whether you stand on the side of your fellow residents or stand on the side of board appointments by the city, be sure to vote on the measure in November.