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José M. Rodríguez

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José M. Rodríguez
José M. Rodríguez.jpg
Board Member, Elizabeth School Board, At-large
Term ends
November 2016
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sRutgers University
Master'sSaint Peter's University
OtherKean University
Campaign website
José M. Rodríguez campaign logo
José M. Rodríguez is an at-large member of the Elizabeth School Board in New Jersey. He won election to the board on November 5, 2013.


Rodríguez resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Rodríguez received a Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University before earning his M.A. degree in Education Administration from Saint Peter's University in 2006.[1] He is currently studying for a second Master's degree in Special Education from Kean University and he has a decade of experience teaching in the New Jersey public school system.[2]



See also: Elizabeth Public Schools elections (2013)


Rodríguez ran against eight other candidates to win one of three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013.


Elizabeth Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCarlos M. Trujillo Incumbent 18.5% 4,604
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStan Neron 17.8% 4,430
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJosé M. Rodríguez 14.8% 3,685
     Nonpartisan Stefano Calella Incumbent 14.6% 3,646
     Nonpartisan Cristina Pinzon 14.4% 3,588
     Nonpartisan Anthony Padlo Incumbent 14.3% 3,569
     Nonpartisan Luis F. Rincon 2.1% 531
     Nonpartisan Maria Da Rassi 2.1% 527
     Nonpartisan Osment Spencer 1.3% 329
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 18
Total Votes 24,927
Source: Union County, New Jersey, "UC 2013 General/School Election," November 14, 2013


Rodriguez ran as part of the Election Fund of RNP slate, which reported $47,138.16 in contributions and $44,858.33 in expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.[3]


Rodríguez received an official endorsement for his campaign from Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.[4]


Elizabeth Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngElcy Castillo-Ospina Incumbent 21.1% 8,454
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngA. Tony Monteiro 19% 7,602
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCharlene Bathelus 17.3% 6,923
     Nonpartisan José M. Rodríguez 15% 6,020
     Nonpartisan Anthony Padlo 14.3% 5,717
     Nonpartisan Jorge E. Casalins 13.2% 5,262
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 30
Total Votes 40,008
Source: Union County, New Jersey, "Union Co. 2012 General/School Election," accessed October 28, 2013

Campaign themes

As part of Team iServe, Rodríguez shared the following campaign themes with Cristina Pinzon and Stan Neron:[5]

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Minimizing Administrative Costs
  • Balancing the educational budget
  • Ethical Employment Practices
  • Structure Capital Costs Effectively

Safer Schools

  • Fully training and equipping the Security Department with annual training.
  • Creating safety seminars for families and children in conjunction with the police department
  • Annual Job reviews for ALL Security Personnel.
  • Increased vigilance and discipline for Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying issues and reporting.
  • More Charar Education Programs in schools
  • No Tolerance Policy for Violent incidents
  • Streamlined communication between schools and parents when incidents occur
  • More transparency on Violence reporting

Community Involvement

  • Investing in stronger PTA programs
  • Implementing family strengthening programs
  • Connecting immigrant families with agencies that offer courses in English as a Second Language
  • Ensuring that all schools have qualified Parent and Community Liaisons
  • Creating flexible schedules so that families can participate in various programs
  • Implementing a Family Resource Center that will include social services, referral programs, financial literacy programs, employment and training services, crisis management, technology training, along with programs to helping families understand education today
  • Allowing for schools to be adopted by a local businesses or entrepreneurs.
  • Ensuring that schools become community schools that are open to the public after school hours and on weekends
  • Providing additional community outreach programs

Quality Education for ALL Children!

  • Utilizing all Title I funds to ensure that our children’s needs are met
  • Updating curriculum and supplies to support students with special needs
  • Ensuring there is a curriculum in place for the inclusion of all children including students in special education
  • Meeting the proper nutritional requirements for all schools which include breakfast, snacks and lunches

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 Carlos M. Trujillo, Anthony Padlo and Stefano Calella ran for re-election as part of the Continue the Progress slate. Challengers José M. Rodríguez, Stan Neron and Cristina Pinzon raised funds under the Election Fund of RNP. Maria Da Rassi, Osment Spencer and Luis F. Rincon did not run as part of a slate.

District expansion and online offerings

Over the last decade, Elizabeth Public Schools has added 13 new school buildings in order to reduce overcrowding in certain district schools and to expand educational offerings to the student body. Two new schools, the iPrep Academy School No. 8 and Mravlag of Elmora Hills School No. 21, were added for the 2013-14 school year. Students at the iPrep Academy magnet school all receive tablets or notebook computers in addition to having complete online access to class materials and to other learning software following the 1-to-1 model. The school is participating in the "Teach To One" education model developed by New Classrooms of New York City to use algorithmic approaches and adoptive learning strategies to improve mathematics instruction. Mravlag of Elmora Hills School is also providing its students with tablets and notebook computers along with offering online course materials.[6]

About the district

See also: Elizabeth Public Schools, New Jersey
Elizabeth Public Schools is located in Union County, New Jersey
Elizabeth Public Schools is located in Union County, New Jersey. The county seat of Union County is Elizabeth. According to the 2010 US Census, Union County is home to 543,976 residents.[7]


Union 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 Union County was $68,688 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Union County was 9.8% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 31.6% of Union County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.[7]

Racial Demographics, 2012[7]
Race Union County (%) New Jersey (%)
White 69.0 73.8
Black or African American 23.3 14.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.7 0.6
Asian 5.1 9.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.8 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 28.7 18.5

Party Affiliation, 2013[8]
Party Union County Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 126,969 42.12
Republican 43,735 14.51
Libertarian 84 0.01
Green 41 0.01
Other 34 0.01
Unaffiliated 130,598 43.34

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