With $609M school budget ailing, Jersey City BOE trustee tries to save sports programs

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While the Jersey City Board of Education works feverishly to try and fix a $120 million gap in a $609 million budget, Trustee Mussab Ali is fighting to keep middle and high school sports in tact.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“If we lose sports, our kids will be ROBBED of priceless opportunities to grow, learn, and make life long friendships while off the streets,” Ali wrote on a petition he started on change.org.

“We CANNOT allow ourselves to let down our youth and take away from their high school and middle school experience.”

Last month, the BOE gave initial approval to a $609 million budget that could spell over 600 layoffs.

In the days after the March 20th vote, it was uncovered that the preliminary version of the budget would also lead to the cancellation of all middle and high school sports.

Ali is the first board member to publicly go out on a limb and support keeping all scholastic sports active, imploring others to join in the cause.

“We CANNOT let this happen. I am only 1 vote on the board, but with YOUR help we can ensure that the sports program remains,” he wrote.

“I need you to sign and share this petition to make sure Jersey City knows that OUR SPORTS ARE IMPORTANT! Please share stories about how sports have INSPIRED, UPLIFTED, and SUPPORTED you. Help me #SaveOurSports”

Ali has said previously that if the final version of the budget still involves cutting scholastic sports, he will vote against it.

As of Sunday evening, the petition has 1,907 signatures with a total goal of 2,500.