The Bayonne public school system is in a very bad situation when its teachers are treated as second-class citizens when they are seeking a raise in salary. Year after year they are praised for the excellent work that they do by the Board of Education, the school business administrator, administrators, superintendent of schools, our mayor, and city council. After four years of not giving teachers a raise they still praise them. The disgrace is that not a single one of them supports the teachers. I as a taxpayer support them.
Teachers not only impart knowledge to our students, they help to build their character, to respect people and property, and to help others. Teachers instill a good background for their students to advance in life to be the best that they can be. Students spend more time with their teachers in school than they do with their parents at home.
The president of the Board of Education, Mr. Lawson, states that the schools have no money to give raises. This is partly true because schools do not make money; the city makes money. The city received grants from the state and federal government and city taxes. This amounts to over a hundred million dollars every year. Besides this, let us put the money problem in its true perspective.
The teacher’s contract was for four years, 2010 to 2013.The city received in those four years $135 million due to the land sale to the Port Authority. In 2010 the city received $40 million, in 2011 $35 million, in 2012 $30 million and in 2013 $30 million. The money was there but where did it all go to?
The mayor is chairman of the school board of estimate. He controls the money given to run city public schools. The money was there to give teachers a decent salary increase. They never got one. Where is the accountability of what was done with $135 million?
There are 9,800 students in our public schools receiving an excellent education and it is the duty of their parents to support all their teachers. Call the mayor and newspapers and indicate that you support the teachers’ raise.
LEONARD R. KANTOR