Ava Finnerty, a Bayonne Board of Education candidate seeking a three-year term, questions whether current board members are cognizant of the real issues that the district is facing.
She recounted when she asked the current president of the school board, William Lawson, what the acronym PARCC stood for which he couldnâ€™t answer.
â€œPARCC is a major issue and to not know what PARCC stands for, I thought was very concerning.â€
She also believes that Bayonne is handling PARCC well.
â€œThis year they are initiating an academy of business and an academy for technological skills. Bayonne is getting on board with career readiness.â€
Recently retired, Finnerty has 42 years of experience as an educator and sees that fair pay will play a key role in keeping the good teachers in Bayonne.
â€œHealth benefits keep on going up, so every year, every September we make less money.â€
Between the contracts, STEP programs and salary issues, she would like to address the board on the amount of teachers they have lost.
â€œWe have to keep the teachers here, the good ones in Bayonne.â€
If elected, she would also like to address the underfunding of the school district, implement full day Pre-K, and improve the Special Needs program.
As a long-time resident, taxpaper and Bayonne educator, Finnerty states that the â€œschool is the lifeblood of the community. I donâ€™t want my property to drop because our educational system is dropping.”
The goal she said, is â€œto make people want to move to Bayonne because of the school system.â€
When asked why she decided to run for a three year term she said â€œI would really like to see things change in Bayonne. We need a change.â€