Newark Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins is throwing her support behind D. Kim Gaddy for the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board election on April 19.
Chaneyfield Jenkins said Gaddy, who previously served on the board, has the experience and knowledge to hit the ground running.
“We are fortunate that she wants to serve again,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said. “She understands that you have to be fair and include parents in the process. She has a child in Newark Public Schools and she is a graduate of the system, so she brings an intimate understanding of the district.”
Chaneyfield Jenkins sent out a mail piece citywide with her endorsement of Gaddy that is expected to hit mailboxes today.
“She has the right temperament and sensitivity to understand the needs of parents and students,” the councilwoman said. “She is also extremely knowledgeable about environmental issues, which will be helpful as the board grapples with how to address elevated levels in the drinking water.”
Gaddy is one of 12 candidates running in the election. She is running on a slate with Tave Padilla and Leah Owens.
Chaneyfield Jenkins said her decision to endorse Gaddy is not a reflection on the other candidates.
“I have given financial support to other candidates, but I feel strongly about putting my personal brand behind Kim,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said. “I support candidates who are looking for ways to bridge the educational gap that exists in Newark and who are looking to bring about sustainable, positive and effective change in education in the city.”
Chaneyfield Jenkins has been a strong supporter of both traditional district schools and public charter schools. She was one of seven city council members who opposed a statewide moratorium on charter school expansion and said she supports a parents' right to choose the school that works best for their child.
Chaneyfield Jenkins also has a strong track record of supporting traditional public schools. She voted in favor of a $63 million bond to provide funding for district facilities, including Utterman’s Field, Schools Stadium, swimming pools at Central High School and Science Park High School and the NPS Student Center.
The councilwoman said the divisiveness between charter and traditional parents is a direct result of the state’s failure to fully fund public schools, as required a state Supreme Court ruling.
“Every year, Newark schools get shortchanged and that has to stop,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said. “Our state legislators must fight to fund our public schools as required under the law. The state has to stop playing games because that’s what’s causing these problems in Newark.”