On Wednesday, April 21st, a delegation of New Jersey principals visited our congressional delegation – virtually – to advocate for New Jersey students, educators and schools! NJPSA members who joined this all-star team included Dr. Robin Moore, NJPSA President; Dr. Michael Vinella; NJPSA Treasurer; Paul Christopher, NJPSA President-elect; Karen Bingert, NJPSA Immediate Past President; Aaron Eyler, NASSP Federal Relations Coordinator; Ralph Aiello, NASSP Board Member; Nicole Moore, NAESP Federal Relations Coordinator; Dr. Arlene Rogo, NJPSA Board Member; Dr. Denise King, NJPSA Board Member; Dr. Karen Bennett, NJPSA Board Member, and the NJPSA Government Relations team of Debbie Bradley and Jennie Lamon.
Throughout the jam-packed day, we met virtually with the offices of Congressman Christopher Smith, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Andy Kim, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, Congressman Josh Gottheimer, and Congressman Tom Malinowski. The meetings gave principals an opportunity to advocate for our students, members and schools by illustrating the current realities and challenges faced by school leaders operating schools within the context of the pandemic. The topics covered included school facilities and infrastructure, water, lead, HVAC systems, windows, air conditioning, leaks, gym floors, principal and teacher pipeline, equity in education, technology concerns, universal broadband, staffing shortages, budget shortfalls, early retirements, and more.
Even though we couldn’t be on the Hill, the day was an enormous success and provided the opportunity for NJ principals to speak in a unified voice to our Congressional delegation. The folks in Washington were grateful for the boots-on-the-ground perspective. All of the Representatives expressed deep gratitude to our educators and administrators for their dedication and leadership throughout the pandemic. Perhaps most importantly, all committed to working with us as additional education, jobs and infrastructure packages advance in Washington.