School Board Race Mobilizes Mayor Flora against System that ‘Hate(s) America’

 

School board elections are officially “non-partisan,” but don’t believe it.

The political polarization of the day has turned some heretofore sleepy boards of education into political war zones. OK. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but in some locales in New Jersey and across the nation, not by much.

Fueled by conservative anger over a “woke” public school curriculum, Republicans have brought lesson plans into the political arena. This includes not only unease with some aspects of sex education, but also unhappiness with “critical race theory.”

One result of all this is that GOP candidates across the land are talking about “parental rights” when it comes to education. This is a rather benign sounding shorthand for demanding that schools more or less teach what parents want their kids to learn.

This is relevant right now, because today – July 25 – is the filing deadline for school board candidates looking to run for seats in the November election. It is an odd time for candidate filings – smack in the middle of summer – but that’s the system.

One man paying attention is John Flora, the mayor of Fredon Township in Sussex County. He is also a former school board president and more recently was a Republican candidate for Congress in the CD-7 primary.

Flora is not mincing words. In a recent statement, he says:

“It is more important than ever to have conservative representation on our local school boards to protect our children from the woke curriculum agenda and the outrageous spending supported by the state’s biggest, most powerful public sector union, the New Jersey Education Association.”

Flora goes on to complain about a system that teaches students to “hate America.”

Some will see this rhetoric as far removed from reality, but that’s not the point. It can be effective in galvanizing people who normally do not pay attention to school board elections. Candidates running on these ideas last year had mixed success.

Every election, of course, is a new game so to speak, so it will be interesting to see how many candidates surface in line with Flora’s goal to “protect our children.”

Purists may be uncomfortable with raw politics engulfing school board elections. That’s a valid point, but let’s remember that special interest groups have long been involved in backing candidates in school elections.

Flora also raised a more bipartisan point. He wants to return the school election to April.
The election was switched from April to the fall during the Christie years, ostensibly to save money.  It was also true that turnout in the April election tended to be abysmal.

That wasn’t all. The April election also gave residents a chance to vote on the upcoming year’s budget – the one that began July 1. In the old days, a defeated budget was reduced – at least somewhat – by the municipal governing body.  A November election, coming as it does when the school year is two months old, makes a budget vote impossible.

Doing away with the budget vote has been great for school boards who no longer have to worry about those pesky voters derailing their spending plans. Some municipal leaders didn’t like cutting school budgets either, because that could be controversial.

Flora’s plan would give voters more power, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

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7 responses to “School Board Race Mobilizes Mayor Flora against System that ‘Hate(s) America’”

  1. Jittery John Flora apparently wants to stay relevant.
    By using the usual Republican tactic of spreading hate speech.

    Having been thoroughly crushed in his quixotic attempt to win a Republican congressional primary, the mayor of Fredon now turns his attention to the local school board. And make no mistake about it, he wants to turn his town into a bastion of bigotry.

    In a statement recently released, Flora makes his intentions clear:

    In a recent statement, he says:

    “It is more important than ever to have conservative representation on our local school boards to protect our children from the woke curriculum agenda and the outrageous spending supported by the state’s biggest, most powerful public sector union, the New Jersey Education Association”. Flora goes on to complain about a system that teaches students to “hate America.”

    Talk about code words!
    This flaming bigot can’t make his prejudices any clearer.
    “Conservative representation”–school board elections are supposed to be non-partisan, but Jittery John would take a page from the Sharia Nick D’Agostino playbook and stack the board with right-wing religious extremists.
    “Woke curriculum agenda”–a clear reference to the new sex education standards passed two years ago by a state Department of Education that had A MAJORITY REPUBLICAN MEMBERSHIP AT THE TIME. We’ve discussed this curriculum ad infinitum and I won’t do so now, except to reiterate that parents have the ability to “opt-out” of having their little angels sit through a dose of reality most of their parents don’t have either the courage or the tolerance to teach. But John, in all his demagoguery, would issue a blanket prohibition of the curriculum, guaranteeing action taken against him by the state, up to and including a DOE takeover of the Board.
    “The outrageous spending supported by the state’s biggest, most powerful public sector union, the New Jersey Education Association”. Ever notice how conservatives always rail against state spending– until they want something, and then they have their hands out like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel?
    “A system that teaches students to “hate America”. No, John–besides being an absolutely moronic statement, it actually shows how much YOU and your fellow Republican anti-government subversives hate this country. Tell me, Flora, were YOU applauding the rioters on January 6?

    And Flora also wants to return school board elections back to April, where they were held in the past. That’s where Flora clearly resides–in the past–as in the last century. The reason the election was moved to November in the first place was to save taxpayer money spent on separate elections, and to improve voter participation by holding them in conjunction with the general election. But Flora, who whines like a child about spending, doesn’t mind doing so if it achieves his goals.

    John Flora is just one more example of everything wrong with the Republican Mafia in Sussex County. Every idea he has is a bad one. He should have learned his lessons in June. But he never will, until he destroys his town.

  2. Fredon voters elected to move their election back to April – in November 2020 by referendum on ballot. They first moved budget in 2021 then held candidate elections in April 2022.

    Additionally, the slam above is shameful defending the NJEA – thieves stealing from hard working teachers whom they don’t fight for at even their local levels all about inner politics of their districts.

    Just examine the title of a NJEA Teaching Is Political:
    Advocating and
    Organizing for Social
    Change 2022 Summer
    Collaborative

    Tell me again we are wrong to advocate for our values of conservative live and let live without government indoctrination.

  3. curriculum agenda”–a clear reference to the new sex education standards passed two years ago by a state Department of Education that had A MAJORITY REPUBLICAN MEMBERSHIP AT THE TIME.

    Totally incorrect Please ck your facts.

  4. Michael F Schnackenberg

    It’s clear you are triggered as he struck a chord.

    Empty vessels make the most noise

    You clearly dont understand or appreciate immigrants cultural values on raising children

    Last years election swept many of us to run and even more this November.

  5. When liberal arguments fail, the left resorts to me calling. All conservatives are labeled racist.

    How about schools going back to reading, writing, Math Science, computer literacy.

    Parents can teach kids about sex.

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