|Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||April 2010|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Carvajal has served as an instructor for Citizen's Campaign, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization focused on improving local governance. He currently serves as a member of the Perth Amboy Democratic Committee in addition to his board responsibilities.
Carvajal sought re-election to the board against eight other candidates in the November 5, 2013 general election. He was running with Benjamin L. Salerno as part of the United for Better Education slate until Salerno disbanded the slate in early October. Salerno stated that he wanted to separate his campaign from the tensions on the existing board.
|Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large General election, 3-year term, 2013, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Israel Varela Incumbent||17.1%||1,741|
|Nonpartisan||Mark Carvajal Incumbent||11.4%||1,161|
|Nonpartisan||Anton J. Massopust Incumbent||10.7%||1,090|
|Nonpartisan||Benjamin L. Salerno||10.1%||1,026|
|Source: Middlesex County, "Election Results," November 12, 2013</ref>|
Carvajal reported $10,581.09 in contributions and $1,205.00 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which left his campaign with $9,376.09 on hand.
Carvajal did not receive any endorsements in this election.
Carvajal won election to the board along with Kurt Rebovich, Jr. and Israel Varela on April 20, 2010.
|Perth Amboy Board of Education, April 20, 2010|
|Nonpartisan||Kurt Rebovich, Jr.||32.5%||717|
|Source: City of Perth Amboy|
In an interview with MyCentralJersey.com, Carvajal explained his top priorities in the 2013 campaign:
"The first goal for myself and my running mate Benjamin Salerno will be to participate in the selection of a new superintendent of Schools since our current superintendent will be leaving at the conclusion of this school year. It is important that our new superintendent is in place as soon as possible so as not to disrupt the planning and preparations that occur during the summer. To guarantee that this occurs, I have announced as Board President my intention to form a selection advisory committee composed of different stakeholders in our community to help the Board screen the best qualified candidates. It is my intention to seek to hire the best qualified candidate who is willing to implement reforms needed to improve our district and who also will be willing to work collaboratively with different elements of our school community.
A second goal is to continue to find creative ways to address the overcrowding issues throughout the entire district but most especially at Perth Amboy High School. We will need to continue to identify space in the City where we can construct new school buildings or continue to identify existing space that can be converted for public school use. This will require that the Board works to improve its relationship with the state in order to secure monies for acquisition and/or construction. We should also seriously consider seeking funds to build an addition to the existing high school as an interim step. By locating additional classroom space we can begin to reduce class size so that we can try to improve our student performance.
A third goal is to support the enforcement and updating of the Student Code of Conduct. I have received too many reports from teachers that the Code of Conduct is no longer being enforced evenly across the district. This creates chaos in the district. I would strongly support setting up a committee of Board Members, administrators and Teachers to meet in order to update the Code and make sure that it is properly applied."
What was at stake?
Tense relationship with superintendent
The Board of Education and Superintendent Janine Caffrey have developed a contentious relationship over the past four years. Caffrey has been removed by board votes in April and October 2012 but remained in office due to the intervention of the New Jersey Education Commissioner. These suspensions occurred because of allegations that Caffrey circumvented the board when implementing counseling programs and manipulated contracts to avoid bidding procedures. The board voted in October 2013 to remove Caffrey and seek an interim superintendent to serve through June 2014. Board member William Ortiz noted after the vote that the district is seeking someone with "emotional IQ with people" to replace Caffrey. Judge Kimberly Moss rejected Caffrey's appeal for reinstatement on November 7.
Caffrey countered that board members Obdulia Gonzalez, Milady Tejada and Israel Varela were deflecting attention from state ethics investigations. The Office of Administrative Law held hearings on October 16 into accusations of ethics violations by the three board members. Gonzalez, Tejada and Varela were accused of colluding with local unions to increase pressure for Caffrey's removal and paying reporters to write inaccurate stories about the superintendent. The second allegation stemmed from local reports that Caffrey spent time in a mental health hospital in 2009.
About the district
- See also: Perth Amboy Public Schools, New Jersey
Perth Amboy lagged behind state rates for poverty, median income and higher education achievement in 2010. The city had a poverty rate of 19.9% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 9.4%. The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Perth Amboy's median income at $45,369 while the state median income was $71,180. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (15%) was below the state average (35%).
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.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Mark + Carvajal + Perth + Amboy + Schools"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- MyCentralJersey.com, "Mark Carvajal, candidate for Perth Amboy Board of Education," September 30, 2013
- MyCentralJersey.com, "Two Perth Amboy BOE candidates sever campaign ties," October 8, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Standard Search," accessed December 27, 2013
- NJ.com, "Perth Amboy school board puts superintendent on paid leave," April 25, 2013
- NJ.com, "Perth Amboy superintendent may be out for good; continues to collect $177,500 salary," October 3, 2013
- MyCentralJersey.com, "Judge rules Perth Amboy schools chief will not be returning to work soon," November 8, 2013
- 2010 U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Perth Amboy," accessed October 21, 2013
- City of Perth Amboy, "General Election Results," accessed October 21, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014