Rafael Augusto, a Bayonne Board of Education candidate seeking a one-year term, believes that the current board is lacking effective communication with parents, as well as having lingering issues with transparency and accountability.
Augusto pointed out the $7.4 million reimbursed by the New Jersey Department of Education to the Bayonne Board of Education as to why their should be no excuses from the board right now.
“You have to have the answers ready for the public.”
He is currently employed as the Principal Purchasing Assistant of the Facilities Purchasing Department at the Jersey City Board of Education.
Augusto’s first few initiatives if elected would be to push for a full day pre-k, create a parent involvement coordinator position and to begin the search for a superintendent.
He envisions that the position of a parent involvement coordinator would be paid for by grants, and as for the superintendent, he believes that the person should be able to handle the growing diversity in Bayonne – as well as create new initiatives that will really impact the kids.
As a former union council president, Augusto agreed with Bayonne Teacher’s Association president Al D’Angelo’s decision to turn down the contract last August.
“I’d vote the same way Alan D’ Angelo voted and said no, because they deserve a fair contract. They are paying more for their healthcare and they are paying more for their pensions and I would have said no as well.”
He also plans to speak out against Common Core and PARCC testing.
“They [teachers] are teaching to the test,” and “they feel that they are being handcuffed to the classroom. I would advocate against this.”
As for Bayonne being one of the most underfunded school districts, he proposed a few options, one of which is the “Don’t Gamble With Our Future” legislation, where casinos planned for the Northeast will do revenue sharing with its own districts.
“You know I am going for a one-year term, so it’s going to make it that much more difficult. I don’t care who gets the credit for it because my job is to go in there and advocate.”