As the Governor sits on his platform of hierarchy and briefs the citizens of the State of New Jersey on the ongoing efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he references the safety and well-being of our youth and their education.

While talking out of one side of his mouth, he is funding school districts with federal taxpayers' money and out of the other side - where the microphone can’t hear him - he is cutting state funding to school districts. At a board of ed meeting in our small district in Morris County, I listened to our administrators give us all the reasons why we are unable to resume a 4-half-day a week, in-person schedule from our current 2-half-day a week in-person schedule, and I was astonished.

Can the Governor’s Office or perhaps the Governor himself explain the decision-making process behind including smokers in the current vaccination phase and not our teachers who, in my opinion, should be classified as front-line workers and put at the front of the line?

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Our children don’t need studies and more equipment for enhanced remote learning. They need to return to school. Our teachers are working three times as hard and having one-third the impact on the education of our children.

Did I fail to mention the overwhelming number of struggling families that have either had to give up their jobs to stay home, because our children cannot return to a normal school schedule, or have to spend their entire salary to hire someone to stay at home with them?

I am sure the Governor’s Office has considered this fact while reviewing the New Jersey's constant rising unemployment rate.

It is time to set our priorities straight and get our children back to school where they can be properly educated, or I fear our youth will suffer the fate of falling even further behind on the world stage of academics and jeopardizing their future as well as the future of this country.

Frankie Sarinelli