LETTER: Jersey City parents attend Assembly budget committee’s education hearing

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In a letter to the editor, Jersey City Public School No. 16 Parent Council Director of Parent Engagement Natalia Ioffe explained what happened she attended the Assembly Budget Committee’s education hearing. 

Natalia Ioffe at the State House in Trenton. Photo courtesy of Natalia Ioffe.

Dear Editor,

On Monday, April 23, members of the PS16 Parent Council, Jillian Mellen (1st Vice President) and Natalia Ioffe (Director of Parent Engagement) attended the Assembly Budget Committee Hearing on Education.

We met representatives of other NJ school districts who were equally devastated at the shortage of educational funding and the staff layoffs they were facing. We were also saddened to hear Budget Committee members voicing opinions that Jersey City Public School district in particular was overfunded by $120 million.

The fact that our schools are underfunded and have been for years has been effectively proven by a recent Case Study by the Education Law Center.

We heard many senators and assembly members advocate on behalf of their districts in their comments to the Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont O. Repollet.

Unfortunately, the representative of Hudson County, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, was not present at the hearing and Jersey City was sadly left without a voice to speak in its defense. We hope to rectify that with a strong parent effort though.

We brought back the following documents to share with our parents:

Acting Commissioner of Education Address to Assembly Budget Committee
NJ Education Budget 2018-2019

We would like to thank all our parents who are helping us get signatures on a letter to State Senate President Stephen Sweeney – PS16 Parents School Funding Petition to Senate.

Our letter is a response to the Senator’s recent comments about the teacher’s contract, calling it “irresponsible” and an “insult.”

We believe that the teachers’ basic need to provide for their families and the children’s right to a thorough and efficient education should not be mutually exclusive.

By actively reaching out to City Council and State Legislators, we are demanding immediate solutions to prevent the massive layoffs of highly qualified teachers who are essential to the success of our children. Your support is absolutely vital!

Call and sign up to speak in Public Comments (201) 915-6074 at any of the upcoming Special Meetings on the Budget:

The Jersey City Board of Education will hold the following Special Meetings on its 2018-19 Budget at 6 PM in Room 1R of 346 Claremont Avenue: (Best to call at least 24 hours in advance)

May 1, 2018
May 4, 2018
May 7, 2018