We support the Forward Together slate

Dear Editor:
With Election Day approaching, this is a reminder to our neighbors that there is a great deal at stake in the upcoming Hoboken school board election that affects not only parents of children enrolled in our city’s wonderful public schools, but also the Hoboken community as a whole.
As a varied group of Hoboken public school parents, some of us having never met, we are united in supporting the Forward Together slate of candidates: Jennifer Evans, Sheillah Dallara, and Irene Sobolov.
It is difficult to capture the gratitude we feel towards these women for their years of dedication and commitment to the students of Hoboken’s public schools. Academically, they have brought improved programming to our district like the new comprehensive afterschool program called Passport to Learning, STEM initiatives like Project Lead the Way, and an expanded Response to Intervention (RTI) program. And as community leaders, they emcee fundraisers to support our high school track team, cheer for Connors students at their Hispanic Heritage play and serve on councils to improve the educational experiences of our youngest learners at Brandt, St. Francis and Demarest schools.
We have not seen the opposing Parents United candidates have, nor have we seen them indicate having, a history of volunteerism with our schools. And, they all have said that they have never attended a BOE meeting. Since many of us attend BOE meetings and are very active within the schools, we are baffled to hear these candidates claim to know what’s best for our schools. This apparent lack of involvement has left them woefully uninformed about the district’s budget and the innovative programs currently available to our students, specifically at Hoboken High School.
As examples, both on Facebook and at the recent candidates’ forum that most of us attended, one of the PU candidates proposed a partnership with Stevens, not knowing we’ve had a long-standing, historic partnership. All three PU candidates preached budget cuts, yet the slate is supported by people responsible for previous corruption and overspending at the BOE. And, when the PU candidates were asked where they would make budget cuts they could not point to anything specific. Finally, they repeatedly criticized the schools and said the high school is not good enough for their own children. Can you imagine how awful it must feel to be a hard-working Hoboken High School student or their parents and hear candidates say they would not let their children go to school with you?
With all this, we are struggling to understand their motives for wanting to be on the BOE.
Students thrive when the community supports them. As parents we appreciate our district’s wonderful teachers and prefer to work together in partnership with them and our school administrators. The Forward Together team constantly works to improve our public schools and increase opportunities for success for all of our district school students. Help us continue the progress and go forward together!
Please join us and vote 1-2-4 for Forward Together on November 8th.

Gina and Ben Dobson
Dylan and Shirael Pollack
Jennifer Johnson
Kate Deer
and 23 other signers

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