JACKSON-The seven-member Jackson Township School District Board of Education has run relatively low-key and successful for many years now and school board member Sharon Dey said the main reason is that the board lacks conflict.
“Conflicts have been the single reason most school boards have failures,” Dey said. “We have seen this in recent years from neighboring districts such as Toms River, Brick and Lakewood. They are always in the news because of budgetary issues, hiring conflicts or other matters of impropriety. Jackson has been a cohesive board that advocates for students and protects taxpayers.”
Jackson, Toms River and Brick represent the three largest school districts in Ocean County, but Jackson, unlike the other two has been devoid of scandals and negative media coverage for quite some time.
In Brick and Toms River, Democrats and Republicans battle each other in a fierce competition over professional contracts, hiring and construction contracts. So far, in Jackson, there are no political battles being waged on the board…yet.
This year, the Toms River board has been nothing short of dysfunctional as both sides openly battle each other, sometimes in public board meetings. In Toms River, the off-camera antics of the board led to police reports and criminal charges, plus a lengthy investigation into political leaks, distracting from the board’s business of making sure students are provided a quality education.
Last year in Brick, the board engaged in what some media outlets called a “massacre” and “scorched earth” where the board wholesale fired and replaced employees who didn’t bear a political allegiance to the new board.
“A board wrought with special interests often brings failure and squandered taxpayer dollars. Not the high level of success Jackson has come to enjoy and expect,” she added.
This year, Dey is running as the only candidate with a child in the school district and hopes to continue her long tenure on the board where she has been touted as one of the most respected members of the seven-member panel.