Mark Carvajal

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Mark Carvajal
Mark Carvajal.jpg
Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large
Former member
Term ends
November 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedApril 2010
Term limitsN/A
Websites
Office website
Mark Carvajal was an at-large member of the Perth Amboy Board of Education in New Jersey. He was first elected to the board in 2010. Carvajal lost his re-election bid on November 5, 2013 against eight other candidates for three available seats.

Biography

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.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Perth Amboy Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

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.[2]

Results

Perth Amboy Board of Education, At-large General election, 3-year term, 2013, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngIsrael Varela Incumbent 17.1% 1,741
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAnthony Bermudez 16.4% 1,666
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSamuel Lebreault 15.3% 1,559
     Nonpartisan Mark Carvajal Incumbent 11.4% 1,161
     Nonpartisan Anton J. Massopust Incumbent 10.7% 1,090
     Nonpartisan Reyes Ortega 10.4% 1,061
     Nonpartisan Benjamin L. Salerno 10.1% 1,026
     Nonpartisan Junior Iglesia 4.6% 472
     Nonpartisan Damaris Isales 3.9% 392
Total Votes 10,168
Source: Middlesex County, "Election Results," November 12, 2013</ref>

Funding

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.[3]

Endorsements

Carvajal did not receive any endorsements in this election.

2010

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
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMark Carvajal 38.2% 841
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKurt Rebovich, Jr. 32.5% 717
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngIsrael Varela 29.3% 646
Total Votes 2,204
Source: City of Perth Amboy

Campaign themes

2013

In an interview with MyCentralJersey.com, Carvajal explained his top priorities in the 2013 campaign:[1]

"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?

Incumbents Carvajal, Anton J. Massopust and Israel Varela sought re-election to the board. They were challenged by six other candidates for three available seats.

Issues

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.[4] 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.[5] Judge Kimberly Moss rejected Caffrey's appeal for reinstatement on November 7.[6]

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.[5]

About the district

See also: Perth Amboy Public Schools, New Jersey
Perth Amboy Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Perth Amboy is located along the Raritan River in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The population of Perth Amboy was 50,814 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[7]

Demographics

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%).[7]

Racial Demographics, 2010[7]
Race Perth Amboy (%) New Jersey (%)
White 50.3 68.6
Black or African American 10.5 13.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 0.3
Asian 1.7 8.3
Two or More Races 5.6 2.7
Hispanic or Latino 78.1 17.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[8]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 82.5 16.9
2008 86.9 12.3
2004 - -
2000 - -


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.[9]

Recent news

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See also

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