Councilman Ravi Bhalla, candidate for Mayor of Hoboken, together with his at large slate of Councilman Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour and John Allen, today unveiled his education plan, saying it will be a high priority for him to work with our schools to keep improving educational opportunities for all of our children.
Bhalla said, “Strong, thriving and high-performing schools are critical to our vision for Hoboken as more families call our City home for the long term.” He noted that he has two school aged children and has witnessed the dedication and commitment of teachers and administrators in the Hoboken Public School District and the charter schools.
Bhalla’s plan includes supporting early childhood education, securing private investment in our schools through the redevelopment process, ensuring better coordination between City Government and the School District through the establishment of a City Council Sub-Committee on Education, and increasing recreational space and opportunities for our students.
While acknowledging that the Mayor and the City Council don’t have the authority to make direct operational or funding decisions, Bhalla stated there are many ways in which the Mayor and City Council can collaborate with and support the efforts of our schools.
The main ideas are outlined below:
Supporting Early Childhood Education
We are fully supportive of exploring the use of current or future City owned facilities to make additional space available to accommodate the high demand for Hoboken’s Early Childhood Education, a free program for pre-K 3 and pre-K 4 students that has been an outstanding success. This would also free up classroom space for children in higher grades.
Private Investment in Schools through Redevelopment Process
We believe that developers should invest in our schools too, so our school infrastructure can keep up with the increased demand. Whether those investments are in new classrooms, additional programming, more teachers, or a new elementary school or high school, We believe it is important to work directly with our Superintendent, Board of Education, the charter schools and other stakeholders to identify the appropriate ways in which the City can, through the negotiation of redevelopment agreements, obtain these necessary investments.
City Council Subcommittee on Education
We propose the creation of an ad hoc Sub Committee of the City Council to focus on education, which will serve as an important platform for the Council and Mayor to maintain regular dialogue with the Superintendent, Board of Education, the boards of the charter schools, and other stakeholders. This will allow the City government to identify areas where it can support the efforts of all of our schools in an appropriate manner.
Additional Recreation Space for Children
The City has new recreation facilities and open space coming online in the immediate future and next couple years. We are also proposing a new, state-of-the-art multi-serivce center
. Providing space for after school programs for our children, including for example the successful Passport to Learning program, is a priority for us.
Supporting all schools
Hoboken has a number of excellent non-traditional schools, including charter and private schools. I am fully committed to supporting the programming at all of our schools and collaborating on various projects, events and recreation activities.