Quality Education Taxes & Spending Transparency
   

Quality education begins with high expectations. For too long our schools have been satisfied with "good enough." Except in rare cases, our students have not been pushed to excel, to aim for the best colleges, to reach their full potential. The tone must be set at the top and the Real Results team will make sure Hoboken hires a superintendent who puts academic achievement at the top of the to-do list.We'll hire a search firm to expand the hunt to out-of-state applicants, candidates from private-sector education companies and administrators from top charter-school groups and organizations such as Teach for America and The New Teacher Project, where Washington, D.C.'s standout super, Michelle Rhee, earned her stripes.

 

The school board is famous in Hoboken for its incredibly wasteful spending. At nearly $25,000, we  spend the second-highest amount of money per student of any K-12 district in the state (behind Asbury Park), and almost twice the state average. What's worse, the board is not planning any meaningful budget cuts for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, and is not planning any tax cut. The proposed $59.8 million budget is $400,000 higher than the proposed budget a year ago. And this year's $36.8 million tax levy--the amount of tax revenue raised from Hoboken property owners--is just $3,000 less than last year's. Real Results promises to cut more than $3,000 out of a $60 million budget.

  The new majority that took control of the board a year ago promised us more transparency but it hasn't always turned out that way. They shut the public out of an important meeting in December to interview candidates for an empty board seat in an apparent violation of the state Sunshine Law. They rammed through the appointment of a new superintendent in February without giving the public any notice, even after saying before the meeting that the hiring would not be on the agenda. In the March 9 meeting, two of our opponents, Rose Markle and Irene Sobolov, voted to close the meeting to discuss a bureaucratic matter that had nothing to do with personnel--another apparent violation of the Sunshine Law.