The Jersey City Board of Education amended a resolution to extend a $172,800 contract with Source4Teachers to provide 75 substitute teachers to the school district from May 5 through May 31.
The major concern was the safety and quality of education for the students in public schools.
“Our children don’t have substitutes,” said Gina Verdibello “Why did we get to this point?”
Brigid D’Souza, a mother of two public school students asked, “The fact that there are only 30 subs available in a district with 40 schools, if that is true, how can we have in a situation where that’s the plan?”
“Use your in-house talent, “ said Ronnie Greco, president of The Jersey City Education Association, encouraging the board to use the staff that they have to place the substitutes in the schools.
In response to the questions regarding the original $4 million allocated to Sources4Teachers, Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles explained the increase of cost was due to a multitude of reasons.
These reasons included a 347% increase in administrative leave, 200% increase in district training, 74% increase in professional days and 130% increase in supplemental assignments.
Dr. Lyles cited that the average absences is approximately 230 teachers daily. As of yesterday , the JCBOE has processed 209 teachers with 168 considered. However, only 40 of 168 are available to sub.
Both Gerry Lyons and Lorenzo Richardson stressed the importance of safety and education for the children.
Board member Ellen Simon and Board Vice President Marilyn Roman got in to a heated discussion about the lack of planning of the board for the following school week after the contract was not extended.
Roman motioned to amend the resolution to contract 75 subs at a cost of $172,800. The motion was passed by a vote of 5-1.
“This board represents 28,000 students in our district here and we do not want to place our students at risk,” stated Board President Vidya Gangadin.