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.
â€œYou have to have the answers ready for the public.â€
He is currently employed as the Principal Purchasing Assistant of the Facilities Purchasing Department at the Jersey City Board of Education.
Augustoâ€™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 Teacherâ€™s Association president Al Dâ€™Angeloâ€™s decision to turn down the contract last August.
â€œIâ€™d vote the same way Alan Dâ€™ 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.â€
He also plans to speak out against Common Core and PARCC testing.
“They [teachers] are teaching to the test,â€ and â€œthey feel that they are being handcuffed to the classroom. I would advocate against this.â€
As for Bayonne being one of the most underfunded school districts, he proposed a few options, one of which is the â€œDonâ€™t Gamble With Our Futureâ€ legislation, where casinos planned for the Northeast will do revenue sharing with its own districts.
â€œYou know I am going for a one-year term, so itâ€™s going to make it that much more difficult. I donâ€™t care who gets the credit for it because my job is to go in there and advocate.â€