Murphy ‘very disappointed’ that Jersey City schools won’t resume in-person learning soon

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Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that he’s “very disappointed” that the Jersey City Public Schools won’t resume in-person learning soon, with remote learning currently expected until the next scholastic year in September.

“I was very disappointed with the Jersey City development, it’s hard to say otherwise. I know Mayor [Steven] Fulop was and I know he had done a lot to try to push that in the right direction,” Murphy said at a press briefing in Trenton this afternoon.

“I hope that the combination of good smart public health habits, vaccinations – we’re in the many millions – warmer weather, that that combination would allow a decision like that to be reconsidered. I know for sure as I’ve said this, we are back in business in September, Monday through Friday – for educators, kids, everybody in as close to a normal school year as possible. What happens between now and then I think is to be determined.”

The governor further stated that “the stress is overwhelming” for everybody in the education sector here in New Jersey since the COVID-19 pandemic started last March.

On Sunday, Jersey City parents received a robocall from Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker where he said schools could not reopen on April 26th as planned since adequate staff is not available.

“On Thursday, we had 458 instruction staff absent and then close to 500 on Friday,” he said in the prerecorded message.

Many parents, teachers, students, and staff have come out against the decision, which has culminated in a protest being held at the board of education headquarters, 346 Claremont Ave., tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Fulop, who plans on attending the rally and has promoted it on social media, commended Murphy for taking a public position in the matter.

“I’m thankful that the governor is publicly commenting on the importance of in-person instruction her in Jersey City and his disappointment in the board of education and superintendent’s decision. I share the governor’s hope that this decision is reconsidered.”

The BOE has a meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 6 p.m. and it is still possible that Walker could change his mind. The current scholastic year ends on June 25th.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Governor Murphy
    What about the schools that are not available for teachers to come back. That should be torn down that have a mice infestation, mold, and asbestos problems that parents are not made aware of. You are disappointed in Jersey City for not opening up the schools. Why are these issues laying dormant during a time when these issues could be addressed during remote learning so the building can be safe for the teachers, other staff, and students to return in September

    Why are these issues not being addressed? You are disappointed in Jersey City we have supported you and you have thrown the teachers under the bus and not addressing the issues that we trusted in you to make a difference instead you have gone in a different direction and left us with no help in making a change for the better of our children.

    We have challenges and some buildings that are old exasperate those challenges that are deadly for some of the teachers. During Covid-19 some of the teachers that worked in those toxic buildings have died.
    Why are you not addressing the real issue of why teachers and parents don’t want to return at this time?

    Instead, you are saying how disappointed you are. Would you send your children to those toxic buildings to learn which also affects their learning and health in time?

    Don’t you think it is time for you to keep your promise and take a stand for the teachers who have worked above and beyond to aid in the success of the students preparing them for college and their careers starting from Pre-Kindergarten to High School?

    Keep your promise stand up for your teachers don’t you hear our cry?

    We have a right to feel safe in our schools. We have a right to have schools that are not toxic.
    We have a right to teach in a reasonable size classroom so we can meet the needs of every child.

    Our students are not making the progress they should due to bad food that is not nutritional given out by the school that is brought in by trucks instead of cooked on the school grounds.

    Some of the food has to be thrown out at times because the mice get in it. We don’t even know how long that food has been sitting in the warehouses before shipping.

    Governor Murphy, We need you to keep your promises to us. NJEA is still supporting you for reelection.
    It is time you start caring for the teachers, staff, and children.

    The schools that are in the better neighborhoods don’t have the problems that we have. Please start addressing the problems in the neighborhoods where our Title 1 programs have been cut and the need is great due to conditions beyond their control. Hiring more teachers tearing down and building new schools now before September. So the Parents, Teachers, other Staff, and Children are safe. We need you to keep your word to us that helped you get into office. We voted for you and we are disappointed in you because you are not fighting for what is right and humane. Our health and lives matter. Children need their teachers healthy we need conditions to improve.

    Help us to have a successful upcoming school year. Address the issues that need your attention ASAP.
    You have the time to build at least three new schools before September or by December. Encourage the Jersey City Superintendent, he has a good heart towards the children, parents, and staff. He wants the best for us. You know the schools are not ready for opening up now. Hillside Schools are not opening up until September because they care about the children, parents, and staff. Don’t you?

    Let’s make September breath-taking and safe by working also on giving the schools a fresh coat of paint instead of letting our children come back into the building with patch-up work done. We have the time to make things presentable for the children and staff. Replacing old furniture in the classrooms with new furniture. Give the Maintenance some extra money for helping to bring the schools up and in shape. They have been in the schools while teachers are at home. Have days where you send lunch to the maintenance workers for working around the clock to get schools ready for September.

    Hiring more staff so the classroom sizes are smaller. Addressing the accommodations for the staff that has health issues placing them in places where they can be an asset and do their job effectively without being in a place that will cause them more problems. This should also take place before now instead of by September.

    Governor Murphy, I plea and cry out help your teachers shine because they have supported you. Now it is time for you to support us. Not just a certain set of teachers all of your teachers because you have ignored your teachers cry in Jersey City and they truly love their students and they have done beyond what is asked of them to make sure their children succeed. There are stories that are never told.

    There are teachers that have even taken food to the homes of some of their students due to the pandemic and even before Because if a child is hungry they can’t learn. There are parents that are working two and three jobs and can’t make ends meet. They are afraid of losing their children who they love and work hard to keep a roof over their heads. Please help us don’t knock us down. We want what is best for our children.

    Help us now. Not later speak to our Superintendent and help him help us. We have a Superindent that grew up in Jersey City and He wants to make a difference will you support him instead of knocking him down. There is so much he is doing to help us to have a successful school year through remote teaching. Making sure staff and students have laptops to learn. However, there is wiring that needs to be done for internet service to work properly in those neighborhoods. Have you address the problem and give the community the tools needed for successful remote learning to take place.

    These issues need to be addressed as well. Please make a Difference in Jersey City Public Schools by giving us your support not saying your disappointed in what you know was the right decision of the Superintendent. If you love our children like your own you would know what to do to make September a successful one.

    This work should have been on its way in January tearing down some of the old buildings and building new ones because you know a lot of these buildings should be condemned. They should have been demolished a long time ago. All lives matter and it should not be determined by race or color. We are all human beings and sad to say all people are not treated the same and not looked at as people.

    It is time for our lives to matter too. Do what you promised? We are human beings and people, our color should not matter. Fight for us as you would for your child, niece, nephew, or yourself if you don’t have children, nieces, or nephews.

    I hope you read this comment and address it with love, compassion, and action. An action that will work to benefit us all.

    Mrs. Chase

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