Dear Neighbors,
School is back in session here in Hoboken.  Tomorrow, I will be sending my youngest off to his first day of Hoboken Middle School as a 6th grader to join his brother there, an 8th grader, who is very eager to share his beloved school with him.  Our family has had an incredibly positive experience in the Hoboken public schools since Pre-K, and education is an important issue for me. As a private citizen, I have been a gold star supporter and volunteer for the Hoboken Public Education Fund.   As our councilperson, I will be a strong supporter of our schools.
For our children to thrive and succeed in an increasingly competitive world economy, a quality education is a must.  And its impact affects all of us. Our entire community benefits when our children are well educated and given opportunities that suit their interests and talents.  
Our schools have been steadily improving. To keep moving in the right direction, however, takes the active assistance of city government.  As our councilperson, I will provide the proactive, solution-seeking leadership we need to ensure that our schools keep getting better and all of our kids get the education they deserve.
As our councilperson, my education priorities will be:
  • Support all of our public schools -- including the district and charter schools. Hoboken's education system relies on our long-established charters especially as our school aged population expands beyond district capacity. I intend to advocate for a change in state law that would allow municipalities to choose to direct PILOT funds to both the district and charter schools in the same manner as tax dollars are allocated.  
  • Work with the board of education to find a cost-effective solution to the facility issue facing our schools, including advocating for state or federal funding. Like many, I found fault with the process that led to the referendum to bond for a new high school. But the facility issues are real and we need to move beyond the blame game that is far too often the sole focus of our incumbent councilperson. Our facilities are aged, and our elementary and middle schools are strained for capacity - a consequence of a vastly improved district.  I feel it every day when I send my children to an aged middle school building where a crumbling facade luckily missed injuring someone last year when it fell or when my son had to eat lunch mid morning instead mid day due to lack of cafeteria space. 
  • Help elect strong board of education candidates. Last year I campaigned for the winning Leadership that Listens slate of board of candidates because of their track record of experience and proven commitment to advancing our schools. My opponent ignored qualifications and made it about politics and her personal agenda.  
  • Grow youth programs and opportunities. It is essential that all of our children are provided quality after school and summer programs and recreation opportunities that not only enrich their lives; they positively impact their school performance. That is why I have proposed a k-to-12 summer camp to be located at the new multi-purpose center, back the construction of a large community pool at that same location and strongly support plans for an uptown library branch.
Let’s work together and give all Hoboken children an education that is a continuing source of pride for this community.
Marla Decker
Follow me on Facebook here, and check out my website here.
Paid for by Marla Decker for Hoboken City Council Ward 2
1500 Garden St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030