But serving on committees like insurance, transportation and commerce, the southern Bergen County assemblywoman has not been a big voice in the big issues that dominate the state’s debates over public education.
That’s about to change.
After weeks of speculation, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on June 1 officially named Caride to be the next chair of the Assembly Education Committee, an influential role as the Assembly’s gatekeeper of education bills and policy.
A Union City attorney by trade and a Ridgefield resident, Caride replaces Sen. Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), who had led the Assembly committee for 14 years before he was appointed to fill his state Senate seat earlier this year.
Under Diegnan, the education committee had been a prominent place for debate over school testing and charter schools, to name just two topics, and Diegnan had been a vocal opponent against Gov. Chris Christie’s education policies.
Prieto’s pick of Caride to replace him comes as something of a surprise to advocates and others closely following education policy in the state.
Prieto passed over other far more notable names on education issues in the Assembly, such as state Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex), chair of the higher education committee, and state Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), the education committee’s vice chairman.
In an interview with NJ Spotlight on June 1, Caride said education was always a topic of interest since she was elected to the Assembly five years ago, and she looks forward to diving into the issues.
For Mooney’s full NJ Spotlight story, click here.