Letter to the Editor: Bennett Endorses Smith for BOE

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I am extremely pleased to endorse Donna Smith for the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education. Our community is fortunate to have someone running for the Board with Donna's deep knowledge of education, intelligence, kindness, and broad agenda to improve education for every child.

The district's greatest challenge is recurring budget deficit. There are no easy solutions to the deficit, but Donna knows the severity of our under-aiding and is willing to fight for our fair share of state aid.

Donna also understands the need to be fiscally cautious with new, non-essential expenditures going forward, such as IB and a new aquatic center at Columbia High School so that more money is available for the classroom.

The Board of Education does not directly manage the schools, but it does have the responsibility for negotiating contracts withthe teachers' and administrators' unions. As an attorney, Donna has a mind for contractual detail and an understanding of the rhythm of negotiations and would thus be an immense asset to our Board in this task.

In conclusion, I look forward to voting for Donna Smith this November and then to Donna's contributions as a Board member. I hope you join me in supporting her this year.

Jeffrey Bennett, Member South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education
South Orange, NJ

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