Teague: Why hold elections when school board is under state control? | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Teague: Why hold elections when school board is under state control?

By Corey Teague
Published: February 4, 2016


The question was raised a while back concerning the validity of continuing to hold public elections for boards of education that are currently operating under state control. It was suggested that continuing to do so was misleading to the public.

Voters come out to select board members on the premise that their candidate will have unilateral authority to make changes to the system. That they’ll be able to hire, fire, demote, promote and oversee the day-to-to-day operations of the district. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The fact is state-operated boards of education have very limited authority. In fact, under state operation, these boards serve merely as “advisory councils” to the person in charge, that being the state-appointed superintendent.

Boards under state control cannot hire, fire, demote, promote, oversee the day-to-day operations of the school district, adjust or even approve the budget. In fact, when I served as a board member I witnessed the state-appointed superintendent override the board’s decision and push through a budget that was voted down by the board.

So, I pass this question onto you, the citizens of Paterson. Is it really worth it anyway?

Corey L. Teague
Former school board member

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