Laura De Benedetto

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Laura De Benedetto
Laura De Benedetto.jpg
Board Member, Clifton School Board, At-large
Former candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
High schoolClifton High School
Associate'sBerkeley College
Campaign website
Laura De Benedetto campaign logo
Laura De Benedetto was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Clifton School Board in New Jersey. She lost election to the board on November 5, 2013.


De Benedetto resides in Clifton, New Jersey. De Benedetto graduated from Clifton High School and earned her Associate's degree in Business from Berkeley College. She volunteers in the community and school district, including with the School 9 PTO Executive Board, Parents Requiring Action and Information for Special Education and the Parent Advisory Board.[1]



See also: Clifton Public Schools elections (2013)


De Benedetto lost to incumbents Gary Passenti and Wayne Demikoff and fellow candidate Rosemary Pino in her attempt to win one of three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Clifton Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGary Passenti Incumbent 27.8% 6,032
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRosemary Pino 27.6% 5,974
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWayne Demikoff Incumbent 22.2% 4,806
     Nonpartisan Laura De Benedetto 22% 4,775
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 80
Total Votes 21,667
Source: Passaic County, New Jersey, "Summary Report," November 15, 2013


De Benedetto reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[2]


De Benedetto did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.

Campaign themes

De Benedetto's campaign website listed the following campaign themes for 2013:[1]

  • Bringing more trades into the school district by looking outside of the box at grant money and possibly hiring a grant writer that does not get paid until we receive the grant
  • Lowering the dropout rate at the high school level
  • Uniformity of opportunity at the elementary school level, and equal participation in dialogue affecting the interests of faculty, parents, and students from each respective school
  • Budget-friendly technology updates for our schools, comparative to---or possibly exceeding—capabilities of other area districts
  • More parent involvement with the Board of Education
  • Bringing back 2 meetings a month – we handle a 150 Million dollar budget
  • Wise, effective, and appropriate use of taxpayer money for educational use

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

There were three seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Gary Passenti and Wayne Demikoff filed for re-election and competed with challengers Laura De Benedetto and Rosemary Pino in the at-large race. Fellow incumbent Mary Kowal did not file for re-election.

Transportation policy debate

A district policy requiring students who live within two and a half miles of their school building not to ride the bus has received criticism from local parents. District administration instituted the busing policy as a cost-saving measure, which was recently upheld by the school board due to budgetary concerns.[3] Local grandmother and student guardian Barbara Tate has denounced the policy as poor prioritization, arguing, "Children's welfare should come before anything on their budget, and if it costs them money then they will have to work it in."[4] Incumbent Wayne Demikoff defended the policy, but fellow incumbent Gary Passenti stated that board members need to review additional financial data before making a final decision on whether or not to maintain it. Both Laura De Benedetto and Rosemary Pino expressed sympathy for students and parents affected by the policy, with Pino suggesting that alternative funding through methods such as subscription busing could be a feasible solution.[3]

About the district

See also: Clifton Public Schools, New Jersey
Clifton Public Schools is located in Passaic County, New Jersey
Clifton Public Schools is located in Passaic County, New Jersey. The county seat of Passaic County is Paterson. According to the 2010 US Census, Passaic County is home to 501,224 residents.[5]


Passaic County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Passaic County was $56,299 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Passaic County was 15.3% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 25.4% of Passaic County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race Passaic County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 75.9 73.8
Black or African American 14.7 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.5 0.6
Asian 5.5 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.3 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 38.3 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[6]
Party Passaic County Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 97,693 33.08
Republican 52,360 17.73
Libertarian 75 0.01
Green 25 0.01
Other 38 0.01
Unaffiliated 145,114 49.16

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[7]

Recent news

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See also

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