The multi-partisan Women’s Political Caucus of NJ has a free event coming up designed to prep people considering running for their own local school boards, with a panel of politicians whose point of entry into politics was their own local school board, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Asw Mila Jasey & Bonnie Olt of the Evesham Twp School Board.
Why Not Me? Why Not Now? Running for School board – Tuesday, March 1, Eagleton Institute of Politics, New Brunswick.
I do a news roundup every morning for Blue Jersey. We didn’t used to have a heading for school issues. We do now. Everything in how we teach New Jersey kids is either under direct attack via Governor Christie, or in flux, with the undermining of public education itself, and budget slashes as two key reasons.
When we write our property tax checks – NJ average is $7,555 – the biggest chunk goes to schools. And yet, school elections are usually sleepy little affairs. Last year’s were the exception; voters snapped to attention when Christie publicly urged voters to defeat local budgets if local teachers didn’t agree to 1-year wage freezes. This was a month after Christie slashed state aid $820 million. And right before Christie bungled a $400 million federal grant that would have gone to Jersey schools if Christie didn’t intentionally bungle it to avoid the appearance of working alongside NJ teachers toward a common goal. Right this minute, Gov. Christie is in Washington, about to go on stage for a major speech to American Enterprise Institute – standing room only right now – and his topic is how he took down NJ teachers and plans to remake NJ education.
We are all stakeholders in our public schools. Too few of us are actively engaged in decision-making for them. The March 1 event is free. Maybe you should be running for school board. Voter turnout is – unfortunately – so low that you might be surprised at your own electability if you get supporters’ elbows around you.
Free info event is Tuesday night, March 1. Date to file as a candidate is March 8. Elections are April 27.