Current School Board has to go bye-bye

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in reply to Elisha DeMaria’s letter of August 19 stating “Let’s hear from candidates running for school board.”
My name is Leonard R. Kantor of 102 W. 3rd. St., and I am seeking a three-year term for school board trustee for the newly created elected school board. Thirty-five years ago our city had a referendum for an elected school board that was passed by city voters. I and Andrew Zakustousky were the only two people who instituted and got this referendum passed. Due to a lack of voter support year after year it was abandoned and went back to the old political-appointed board by the mayor and city council.
There are 32,000 registered voters in Bayonne. Let us see how many will turn out to vote on Election Day. The current status quo members on the Board of Education have to go bye-bye. Your voter support will greatly show your interest in supporting an elected school board. Please vote on Election Day.
I am not satisfied with our currently run public school system because of its lack of transparency to the residents of Bayonne. The top 100 high schools in New Jersey sponsored by the NJCU is the McNair academic in Jersey City rated number 62. Bayonne High School was not even listed.
Turning around a struggling school is difficult and requires difficult decisions. Schools need to have the right leadership, the right teachers, and the right staff to raise student achievement. The Bayonne school system cannot achieve this by lowering the passing mark from 70 to 65. High standards cannot prevail when passing marks are lowered. Bayonne property owners are paying for a school budget that cost more than $130 million at a cost of $16,000 per student. Our students should have the best opportunity to obtain the highest mark that they can obtain.
We hear the word transparency time after time but it is never put to use. What persists is nepotism, cronyism, and political connections. To say it doesn’t exist is a lie. I’m sure that there are many teachers with higher qualifications and degrees who are bypassed for higher positions that are given to others who have lesser ones. If elected I will be against this “favored system.”
Getting back to transparency and the lack of it, the residents of Bayonne should have the members of the School Board publicly in newspapers tell how our public school system is being run. They should inform parents every marking period how their children are performing. How many students are attending at each of our 10 elementary schools, our one middle school, and our one high school. How many undocumented immigrant students are attending our public schools?
What percent is for instruction, for operations and maintenance, for debt, for transportation, for technology, for administration, for attendance and health. I was told that there are 1,640 employees in the school system. How about publishing them and their salaries, titles in the newspaper? This amounts to one employee for every seven students?
Please vote for Leonard R. Kantor on Election Day, November 3.


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