The Jersey City Board of Education (BOE) held the Jersey City school budget hearing on May 6.
This past Wednesday, the Jersey City BOE held a virtual public hearing for the 2020-2021 school budget. Twenty Six individuals signed up to speak with most supporting the budget as introduced which included a $53 million increase (39%) in the school tax levy.
The the virtual meeting can be viewed HERE.
Trustee Mussab Ali in his remarks acknowledged the current economic crises and also noted that while the the school budget is larger than the municipal budget in Jersey City, it is very uncommon that a greater portion of property taxes go to city.
Trustee Gina Verdibello agreed with parent’s concerns based on her own experiences. She stated that even though its not a good time, and its never a good time [to raise taxes,] she fully supports Superintendents Walker’s budget and finds it refreshing that someone finally wants to put more resources into the schools.
Board President Lorenzo Richardson addressed the need for this budget and stated that the board has the responsibility to raise the [school] levy to meet the needs of the students.
Before the meeting ended Trustee Marilyn Roman raised concerns that there are more questions to ask before adopting the budget and Trustee Joan Terrell-Paige countered that there may be more monies coming forward from the state and that eveyone had initially agreed on the proposed budget.
Jersey City Together Education Team
In advance of the public hearing, they released this video, “Jersey City BOE, please do your job. Fund. Our. Schools.” of parent leaders telling their stories, about how the district’s needs and inequities have been made worse by the current crisis.
Next Budget Meeting
There will be another 2020-2021 Special Budget meeting on Monday, May 11 at 6pm before the 2020-2021 Special Budget Adoption meeting on Wednesday, May 13.
The meetings may be viewed live at https://www.facebook.com/TheSchoolDistrictOfJerseyCity.
Updated May 10: Trustee Mussab Ali has advised that since the March 20 meeting, the increase in the local school tax levy has been updated (decreased) to $53 million (39%).
Header: Dickinson High School, Jersey City Times file photo