The NAACP and NJEA expressed disappointment that the Senate Judiciary Committee held the the nomination of Mary Bennett for New Jersey State Board of Education yesterday. Bennett, who was nominated on Sept. 29 and was scheduled finally to get a committee hearing today, is a highly qualified candidate who has been a steadfast voice for equity and opportunity for all students in New Jersey. Her expertise in urban education will be a much-needed addition to the State Board which has not seen a new appointment in over five years, resulting in most current members serving in holdover status.
“I fail to see any credible reason why Mary Bennett’s nomination was held today. She has been a voice for urban schools and the families they serve for decades,” said NAACP State President Richard Smith. “She understands the challenges faced by students and communities that are often overlooked and under resourced. She also understands the potential that our students can reach when given the opportunities they deserve. Ms. Bennett knows and takes seriously the constitutional obligations the state has to educate every New Jersey student. I urge the Judiciary Committee to move her nomination without further delay.”
“After five years without a single new appointment to the State Board of Education, NJEA was looking forward to Mary Bennett being the first new NJSBOE member confirmed since Governor Murphy took office,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “She is exactly who we need on the board right now. Her deep expertise, ranging from classroom teaching to school administration to mentoring and developing future educators is matched by her passion for serving all New Jersey students. We call on the Judiciary Committee to set another meeting right away to confirm both her and the other two nominees recently put forth by Governor Murphy. New Jersey students and families have waited too long for the new energy and fresh perspectives they will bring to a board that desperately needs both of those things.”