Are you a champion? If you are, Paterson Public Schools needs you.  We need you to run for the school board.

We are entering the most difficult series of challenges ever faced by our children. We face people in power in Trenton who believe our children have been given too much. They propose to turn our education system upside down.

What are we going to do about it? We could pretend that it isn’t happening. We could focus on local issues: Watch out for the gangs, ask if our people are getting their share of the jobs or our kids are getting into college. All real concerns, but not the real issues.

A revolution is going on in Trenton right now. There is a proposal to cut our preschool aid so that our kids only get half a day. There is a proposal to let people who don’t have education backgrounds to become superintendents. There are four new appointees to the State Board of Education whose educational experiences are in private schools. There is the thinly disguised voucher program-“Opportunity Scholarships” -which will reduce the amount of resources our children receive.  The list goes on.

In Paterson we’ve lost art and music. What next?  Will we get a general or a business executive for our next superintendent? Have the Governor and the new Commissioner already made a deal about leadership for Paterson? Who will have a say in the decision?

Paterson children need champions on our Board of Education. We need people who can create relationships with the new education leaders in Trenton.  We need our representatives to be knowledgable and forceful about our children’s needs, able to think on their feet and relentless in pressing our children’s right to an education- not just an opportunity for an education. We need people who can embrace some of the new ideas about school change, people who will push more new ideas in our schools.

We need champions for our children. Is this you? Is it your neighbor? We need you now more than ever.

BTW, if you want to explore how to run for the Board of Education, join PEF Monday February 7 at 6:30 pm at the PEF offices and we will tell you more about how to run.

In search of champions,

Irene