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.