Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BoE Visitor

Packing peanuts?

So, GA hears that last night's BoE meeting was uneventful- which in Hoboken terms means: no Nazi Trucks, no Mason videographers, no tough guys lining the back of the room or speakers demanding to be arrested when asked to leave the podium after their allotted 5 minutes are up.

Uneventful is good.  That's the way we (Reform) roll.  A bunch of rule-obeyers and fuddy-duddies.

Booooooring.

Of course, in Hoboken it is nearly impossible to get through a public meeting without one attempted hot-gas explosion. Last night was no exception.

The star of this ill-fated performance (in Latin: grandstandus interruptus, gas-bagium abortus, photo-opus Facebookus): Tim Occhipinti. 

Yep, Timmy was on deck, camera-ready, to harangue the Superintendent and School Board.  About what, you ask?

It appears Tim was there to speak about  a valid concern for many parents: busing for students displaced by the flood.   What's wrong with that?  Nothing, except GA heard some buzz that Timmy had already met with  the Administration (off-camera) at which time he must have been apprised of the issues the district and taxpayers face if we bus.

The Hoboken school district is categorized 'non-busing' because no child has a 2-mile or greater commute to his/her (public) school.

The issue's been raised because of hurricane Sandy; the storm destroyed classrooms in Connors and children were relocated to Brandt for the duration of repairs.  That's a long walk.  GA sympathizes with all who have to schlep so far now to bring their little ones to school.  It's yet another way the hurricane has disrupted the lives of Hoboken residents. Other ways include the destruction of businesses, public and private property. Now for some, it's transportation to school- time or money spent (hiring someone to bring your child, taking public transportation or car service).
 
GA hopes a legal or creative solution can be found for the displaced Connors kids; I am guessing there is, and it will take earnest effort to find. Thank goodness  pre-k is free in Hoboken.  Unlike most other cities.

As for busing, the problem we face with changing our 'non-busing' designation is once the district does for some, they are required to do it for all.  All means all children attending public, charter, and private schools... no matter where the child attends school: Hoboken, Jersey City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc.  And, if we don't provide that child with busing, we are required to pay them a stipend for transportation- the cost I heard was $884 per child.

Who is going to pay for it?  Of course, busing would be a convenience for Hoboken parents- including me. 

So, if Timmy wanted to dive into this issue by all means, he should have shown up armed with ideas, not argument.  One can assume he came to blame.   Busing was not on the agenda, so unless Tim was allowed to speak first, he would have to wait until the end of a 54-page agenda.  GA hears Timmy  tried to speak first but was denied.  So he left the meeting at about 8 pm when the Board went into Executive Session.  Enough said?



4 comments:

  1. I have a suggestion for parents.

    Get together, form teams, find a few parents that have a work schedule that allows them to be the groups walk to school chaperon. Let those parents do the escort job.

    In short, get to know you neighbors and help each other out. Form a walk-pool or car-pool. But in my opinion walking makes more sense.

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  2. the hop. the willow ave bus.

    problem solved.

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    Replies
    1. We took the bus for years until discovering the joy of walking. Earlier departure required.

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  3. geezzzz union city high school students walk from 49ths street to 30th street....and students from 1st street to 30th street to the new highschool. Are they kidding.....but maybe a good idea is discount school bus passes??? which i think should be state wide....all student in any grade 1st(w/mom or dad) 16th or 17th grade for the longer graduated ....ya know we do have some bad teachers out there lol,,, should be discounted or have a bus/train pass.

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