Hoboken teachers politically swayed?

4/12/2008:

Hoboken411 received this anonymous letter today from a reader who felt certain Board of Education candidates may be using questionable tactics to secure support for their slate. What are your thoughts about this?

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Hidden motives for political fundraiser?

“After reading the Hoboken Reporter today I felt I should share with you information that I think will be of interest to your readers.

In today’s Hoboken Reporter the slate of Phil Defalco, Carmelo Garcia and Frances Rhodes-Kearns have an ad in which they boast of the support they have from Hoboken’s teachers. They write that “Hoboken’s teachers are backing the Parents for Progressive Education school board candidates as evidenced by the fact that they have contributed heavily to their campaign”. What they don’t mention is the way in which this happened.

On March 26th, a fundraiser for these candidates was held at East LA restaurant. Invitations were mailed to people in town including from what I understand – EVERY TEACHER that lives in Hoboken. Fundraising for an election is a common, but asking teachers to contribute to a School Board campaign to begin with is questionable. (I hope that no school resources were used to acquire the addresses of the teachers…)

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Where this gets worse is that Carmelo Garcia and Frank Raia (Treasurer for the candidates) both sit on the board that is NEGOTIATING A TEACHERS PAY RAISE. If asking those that they are negotiating with to contribute to their campaign is not an ethics breach it is at least a MAJOR conflict of interest.

What is also very interesting about these invitations is they each have a number on the back of the envelope and card that was included.

The only reason I can see for numbering the responses individually would be so that they could easily track who donated and who did not (ie, code X is used for teachers, y for friends etc).

If you worked in a district where layoffs were being discussed, and you received a numbered donation request from the person that decides not only if you have a job, but also your pay raise, wouldn’t you be a bit nervous about NOT giving to them? I guess we should expect this in Hudson County politics but this is a school board race and should be run with a higher level of principles. Then again, we spend $25,000 per student so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.”

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35 Comments on "Hoboken teachers politically swayed?"

matt_72
Member
[quote comment=”78520″][quote comment=”78438″]2 ADDRESS the question of low marks and sat’s…There needs to be MORE PARENTS involved. Morale must be low for those kind of marks. The drop out rate must be low for those kind of marks. These things need to be addressed by the BOARD and the PARENTS who are THERE…their children are on the line.. College must be a part of every child’s future, or at least trade school! Instead of spending big BUCKS on playgrounds, spend it on bettering the marks.[/quote] I agree that parents must be involved and that College should be in all kid’s futures, however, throwing more money after bad is not the solution. At $20+k spent per student, the money is there. You need to weed out the waste, and the teachers need to be held accountable. Teachers are paid to teach, if kids are failing then the teacher is not doing their job. If you are not doing your job, then you need to be replaced.[/quote] Maybe the problem isn’t the teachers. Maybe the problem is there are twice as many non-teachers working in the school system as they need? I went to a school system that had 1 non-teacher on staff for every couple of teachers. Hoboken seems to have 1 or more non-teachers on staff for every teacher (my estimate is a 3 to 1 staff member to teacher ratio). WHY!!!!!!!! 500 employees for 2000 kids (that is the # I am hearing)? Even w/ a classroom size of… Read more »
escaped68
Member

I’ve told this story before , a friend of mine from a old respected hob. family was looking for a teachers position. He was asked outright “kid how much are you willing to pay”?needless to say he taugh in jersey city for years. My point being this system is nothing new. It doesn’t matter how good your background is,its how thick is the envelope.If your family is connected the envelope can be a little thinner but still a envelope must be given.

Redstorm
Member
Redstorm

[quote comment=”78438″]2 ADDRESS the question of low marks and sat’s…There needs to be MORE PARENTS involved. Morale must be low for those kind of marks. The drop out rate must be low for those kind of marks. These things need to be addressed by the BOARD and the PARENTS who are THERE…their children are on the line..
College must be a part of every child’s future, or at least trade school! Instead of spending big BUCKS on playgrounds, spend it on bettering the marks.[/quote]

I agree that parents must be involved and that College should be in all kid’s futures, however, throwing more money after bad is not the solution. At $20+k spent per student, the money is there. You need to weed out the waste, and the teachers need to be held accountable. Teachers are paid to teach, if kids are failing then the teacher is not doing their job. If you are not doing your job, then you need to be replaced.

Foster
Member

raise = $50
Fulltime = $100
Apartment = $2000
Voting your consience to get your kid a good educaiton = priceless

matt_72
Member

[quote comment=”78488″]I hear the City Workers paid $100. Some parttimers don’t even make $100 per week, after taxes. Maybe now they’ll get fulltime? 8)[/quote]

Maybe if they gave enough money they can go from a part-job to an administrative job????? Margaret – now I know why your son didn’t get a job, he didn’t pay enough to the powers that be in campaign contributions (kickbacks)! Tell him to go to the ATM and get a wad of cash, he will be back to working in Hoboken in no time at all! Carmelo just needs a little incentive to grease the wheels…….ha ha

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