‘A disgrace’: Jersey City mayor talks last-minute cancellation of in-person learning

New Jersey

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Angry parents are expected to pack the Jersey City School Board meeting Thursday to express their outrage over a last-minute decision to cancel in-person learning for the rest of the school year.

The school board superintendent said there isn’t enough staff to bring students back, but the teachers union said that’s not true.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop called the last-minute change a failure in leadership. 

He spoke to PIX11 News to share his frustration over the superintendent’s decision. 

“It’s really a disgrace,” Fulop said after the superintendent sent a robocall Sunday night abruptly changing plans of when students will return to in-person learning.

“It’s a failure on the elected board, it’s a failure on the superintendent, we’re just pushing them to revisit this decision,” he said.

A superintendent independently elected in Jersey City, according to Fulop. He does not have any insight on it.

About 458 school staffers called out on Thursday and 500 called out on Friday, however the teachers union said there are about 3,000 teachers ready and willing to show up.

Fulop said the teachers union was right, but the superintendent did not adequately prepare for buses, clean buildings and services.

As the mayor, can Fulop override the superintendent’s decision? He said they don’t have the legal ability to do that. 

Parents are pushing for lawsuits, as they and the mayor have said in-person learning is critical for students.

Derek Chauvin trial and police reform

What do you see as police reform? 

Mayor Fulop said the city is continuing to work with the community and work on more accountability, more supervision and more transparency among police officer discipline. 

Following Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts, Fulop said hopefully it’s “just the beginning of real reform that you don’t have to read about Black lives that are continuously dying at the hands of law enforcement that swore to protect them.”

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