Why do you want to be on the Board of Education?
Our school district has been transformed from one of the top school districts in the state to a FOCUS school district. A FOCUS school district is one that is on probation. We have been a FOCUS district for the past two years.
This means the State could take over our schools while we are paying the 12th highest property taxes in NJ. I am running to help reverse the practices which have led us to this situation.
What school related issues are important to you?
The school budget: The BOE taxes us at the highest maximum rate. This year they have projected tax increases greater than 2% for several years. In 2013 we received a 2.93% budget increase. Ask your friends in other towns how much their school budget increased this year; then compare it to ours. Curriculum changes: The BOE has told the community our test scores will drop for the next two years. This drop is in addition to our FOCUS status. I am concerned about the “gaps” which exist in our district whether for the gifted, the special needs or minorities. In our community, which prides itself on its diversity, this should no longer be an issue. Other communities have succeeded in tackling this, so can we.
What issues do you plan to tackle if elected?
I plan to work to be sure our schools, as a FOCUS district, are not taken over by the State.
Research and evaluate new health insurance models which can reduce health costs for the school district and the towns. Investigate budget line items which are greater than our peer group and the State average i.e. maintenance.
Identify the source of our high maintenance costs i.e. faulty warranties on newly renovated capital improvements like roofs and windows which leak right after being installed. This includes outside renovations like Underhill Field. The Profeta family, the towns and SHU pulled together to renovate this facility. However, in its current state, it needs maintenance to be rented out.
Investigate the salary and stipend information reported to the community and to the State.
Reevaluate the curriculum changes which are projected by the BOE, to ensure that they will not have a negative impact on our district’s test scores.
Take a second look at the evaluation systems in our district. The district was given four choices; some of which will produce better results while costing less.
Investigate the special needs violation reports and demand that the complete study on the Achievement Gap be presented.
What makes you qualified for this position?
I bring skills and experience built over thirty years of being active in this community, teaching, implementing programs and coaching our children to high levels of success in our school district. I know the children and I know our schools. Read my bio and personal statement. I have a proven track record of identifying problems and the trust, credibility, and energy to get the necessary work done collaboratively to resolve them. I am known as a strong advocate for our children and the need to provide the best environment in which they can learn and achieve. The programs I have introduced into the district have received local, national and global awards, even a bipartisan award from Congress for our school district.
Why should residents vote for you?
I know the school district from the inside out. I can hit the ground running with the experience, collaborative skills and credibility to fix the real issues facing our district now. Need more reasons? ASK THE CHILDREN.