In a letter to the editor, the “Kids First” Hoboken Board of Education team says they will be committed to transparency and community engagement.
Despite the defeat of the $241 million Hoboken High School referendum in January, the Hoboken Board of Education (BOE) can bring a second referendum for a new high school to Hoboken voters as early as January 2023.
If Hoboken again votes ‘no’ on the referendum, there is a path by which the BOE could appeal to the State of New Jersey Board of Education to override the will of the voters.
Yes, you read this correctly, we may still be on the hook for new construction even if the community votes ‘no’ again.
Following a second referendum defeat, the Hoboken BOE is empowered to seek to have the unelected State Board of Education mandate construction of a new high school.
The BOE and State can usurp the voting preference of Hoboken residents yet require that homeowners and renters take on the expense to fund this decision for decades to come.
This is not a hypothetical: Just a few years ago, residents in Freehold, NJ voted down a school facilities expansion two times only to have the Freehold Board of Education convince the state to override Freehold voters.
Every community member should get informed and vote in the BOE election on November 8th. Kids First is committed to transparency and accountability and we hope by getting to know us over the next month, we earn your trust and your vote on Nov 8th.
The Kids First slate understands there are pressing infrastructure and facilities needs for our district and will arrive at solutions through a transparent process and in a fiscally responsible manner.
We will rigorously evaluate costs, including construction and recurring operational costs, as well as place the necessary focus on educational enhancements and outcomes. We give you our unwavering commitment to do so with community input and discussion.
The Kids First slate will bring creative solutions and new thinking to control costs and optimize space. For example, we will tap the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, which has money to subsidize NJ school facilities, as one source.
We are the only team up for election with a member experienced in going directly to Trenton and securing funding for education.
Also, we will enlist City Council and other elected officials to evaluate the full spectrum of existing and new space available to ensure we are optimizing resources to ease the burden on residents who already have the stress of rising costs in every aspect of their lives.
Importantly, we will make clear the ‘why’ behind what is happening and explain any alternatives that were considered.
The Kids First slate is committed to moving from secretive dealings to community discussion.
We believe our role is to advocate for children and education and to do so by listening to the community and the will of the voters.
The Kids First Team