According to a recent Star-Ledger article (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/bullying_in_nj_schools_spikes.html) the Woodbridge Township School District has apparently tied the Elizabeth School District for 1st Place with a reported 177 incidents of HIB (Harassment, Bullying and Intimidation).
When one considers the debacle the Woodbridge School District is in over the test cheating scandal and then looks at this type of report, one has to question what and how the children of the township are being taught? With a $200,000,000.00 budget, what is the district and the BOE doing to improve the schools. Arguably, not very much for the children.
With the illusion of ever having had control over the school budget now gone, taxpayers and residents (at least the ones that bother to vote) can only hope they can elect members to the Board of Education that will represent the interest of the community and, most importantly, the children, in what appears to be a decaying school system.
On November 6th, voter turnout for electing or re-electing members to the Woodbridge BOE should be large. Not because of real concern over (if past voter turnouts are any indicator) of who gets on the board, but because it is a Presidential Election year! So forgetting, for the moment all the politicians who are vying for county, state and federal seats and looking at the choice of candidates Woodbridge has for the BOE, one could get perplexed.
There are three (3) seats up for grabs on the board and five (5) contenders for those seats. Now, three of the five contenders are already on the board and, therefore, are standing for re-election. As for the other two hopefuls, one is a likeable former Woodbridge Phys. Ed. teacher with strong ties to the community. The other is a single young man, who is employed by an elected state/local official, with strong ties to the McCormac Administration. If voters care about keeping politicians out of the school board, or at least less into it, their choice between the two non-incumbents should be easy.
So what of the three incumbents? One is woman who has given much of her time, effort and wisdom to the BOE in past years. Giving her one more term on the board can be a valuable asset to a board that needs a strong personality in these difficult times. Much of the same can be said for the “Senior” statesman on the board. As to the third, less seasoned individual , who has been serving as the board’s vice president and likely will be its next president, if re-elected, well…? Do the parents and taxpayers really want to hand the Presidency of the Board over to someone who was second in command as the school district sank ever lower into its current quagmire? A sitting vice president with strong ties to the McCormac machine, which, by the way, is backing him and the other young non-incumbent! Or do the parents and taxpayers want to start really cleaning house by making the distance between 1 Main Street and School Street more than just a short drive? Let us hope “wisdom” and not Party-line dictation prevails!