Continue to engage after board election
Diana Fajardo and Ronald Hush won seats on the New Brunswick school board Tuesday, after the city’s first ever school board election was held. Given the considerable role both constituencies played in making elections a reality, city residents along with University students should continue to follow the developments of this board closely.
Last semester, supporters of an elected school board saw a considerable victory against Mayor James Cahill’s rigidly appointed school board. Eradicated after years of reign, the old system has spun in a more democratic direction. This week, city residents and students were able to exercise the right they have earned — the ability to vote for their school system’s officials.
But the development is important for students in particular, if only because we, as a University, played a big role in the process of switching to an elected school board. Campaigning by campus organizations such as the Rutgers University Student Assembly helped to sway student opinion toward support for an elected board, with obvious success. Though students may not realize it, we leave a pretty large footprint.
It’s important then that we continue to support those institutions that we helped create. Keeping a close eye on the progress made by New Brunswick schools under this new board is one way to do that. Students should continue working to create a closer bond between community and school board members.
Fajardo and Hush, both qualified candidates, were endorsed by New Beginnings for New Brunswick Schools and the mayor himself. Cedric Goodman and Jerry Mercado were endorsed by rival organization, New Brunswick for Elected School Board Committee. All candidates worked often and well with youth, as well as in city government, according to supporters.
And though this election may not have been an accurate representation of New Brunswick for Elected School Board Committee’s efforts, who spear-headed the campaign for an elected board, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a democratic one, and a step in the right direction.
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