ELIZABETH— Councilman Manny Grova is under fire for trying to slash public education for local children as critics question the affluent lawyer’s choice to send his kids to an expensive private school in Kenilworth.
“It is not an attack on his children to question how he can spend up to $20,000 on tuition for each of his children while he is attempting to reduce the number of public school teachers in Elizabeth,” said Arthur Pandros, a spokesperson for Preserve Public Education.
Pandros said Grova is out of touch at best and probably a bit hypocritical when he deprives city children of quality schools. “Manny Grova’s kids are sent out of town to a private school,” Pandros said. “That is a fact he cannot deny. He won’t even let his children play with other youngsters from the E’Port section and instead sends them to play in Elmora Little League.”
Padros said Grova sponsored three Elmora baseball teams while neglecting recreation for First Ward residents. “The city spent millions of dollars to improve the Sissleman and Hanratty baseball fields,” said Pandros. “Port kids play baseball on ground littered with broken glass.”
“Grova is trying to gut our public schools,” said Pandros. “I have never heard him criticize Sen. Lesniak’s legislation to take money away from free public education to subsidize private schools, like where his kids go.”
Grova recently distributed a mailing asking voters to reject the public school budget, which has resulted in almost 400 teacher layoffs as of June 30. Grova could not be reached for comment, but the city council has sought to impose drastic reductions on public schools. The school board notified 390 educators that they would be let go when the current session ends.
Grova’s bid for a fifth term is being challenged by Democrats for Change candidate Diego Padilla.
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