Friday, November 24, 2006

Pushback on NJ School Consolidation Proposals

From the Glen Ridge Paper:

Educators start new funding call

Paul Rooney is a lifelong Democrat, but after Wednesday’s Education Forum at the Women’s Club of Glen Ridge, he said he will vote for any Republican who opposes the recommendations recently submitted by the Government Consolidation and Shared Services Committee.

Rooney, a Glen Ridge resident, was among several dozen homeowners from this borough to attend the Board of Education forum, titled “Save Our Schools — Save our Town,” which served two purposes: answering questions about the committee’s proposals, and encouraging residents to lobby against the ideas..

A study released by the New Jersey Department of Education said Glen Ridge spends about $1 million more than it needs to spend in educating its children. “I am not an alarmist by nature,” said [School District Superintendent Daniel ] Fishbein, “but leveling down education for the sake of lowering property taxes is not the answer.”

The consolidation committee had originally been interested in consolidating all New Jersey’s school districts into 21 county districts, but that idea has been shelved in favor of a pilot program that would use one voluntary county as an experiment in county-based education administration.

Ginsburg said any promise of savings from consolidation is false.

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