School Budget Hearing – March 25th

3/17/2008:

School board member Tricia Snyder invites you to the Hoboken School Budget hearing on March 25th at 7pm.

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“As Chairwoman of the Hoboken Board of Education’s Finance committee, I am encouraging all Hoboken residents to attend the upcoming School Board budget hearing on March 25th. As has been widely reported, the new School Budget being proposed by Superintendent Jack Raslowsky is roughly $56.9 million up from $52.9 million budgeted last year. This increase continues a disturbing trend – spiraling costs in the face of declining enrollment and slow educational progress.

Following the March 3rd presentation of the budget, I and my fellow Kids First Board Trustees – Carrie Gilliard, Rose Marie Markle and President Theresa Minutillo – raised this issue and highlighted another disturbing fact: our per student cost is now projected to be $24,482 per child. This massive jump from the $20,814 reported last year is only partly due to increased costs – the greater part of the apparent increase comes from a change in practice – this year we have stopped over-estimating future student enrollment.

In light of this newly acknowledged reality, over the past several weeks we have had a number of serious and far-reaching conversations with the Superintendent. This had led to a stated commitment on his part to take on the difficult task to immediately reducing costs and proposing significant cuts to the budget. We are gratified by this resolve and look forward to working closely with Jack once he presents a new budget proposal. That said, we are committed to using our oversight role to ensure that cuts come from administrative overhead, and not from effective educational programs or from classroom instruction.

We don’t agree with the Board member who stated at the last meeting “whether we are paying $19,000 or $29,000 per student the good people of Hoboken have always passed our budget, and always will.” We hope and trust that Hoboken taxpayers will pay for good and ever improving education. We believe they will not – and should not – pay for waste and mismanagement.

On the 25th of March, we will be working to craft a budget in cooperation with the Superintendent that reflects those priorities. We need your support if we are to prevail in presenting the voters of Hoboken with a budget that will produce the results we deserve. Hope to see you there.”
Thank you,
Tricia Snyder

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19 Comments on "School Budget Hearing – March 25th"

Foster
Member

When is the tape coming the channel 77? How long can it take to put it on?

Cat
Member

I never thought we could…it’s just a fantasy.

Changing the entrenched bureaucracy and culture is always a long and difficult process.

westy
Member

Cat,
Unfortunately we CAN’T “burn down the system” …. 😳

westy
Member

Cat,

Unfortunately we can “burn down the system.” We can change the system for the better simply by voting new people on to the BOE on April 15.

It is never easy to change a system based on political patronage quickly. The political machines and their workers have a significant finacial interest to keep their system working for them.

The people who don’t have the bagage of a cadre of family and friends on the payroll to take care of can see the problems in the system and act to fix them.

I have seen the change start to happen.

I understand we all need to pay to educate the children of Hoboken and I want the money I contribute be well spent on educating those children,
I don’t want to support a system that is more geared to providing jobs and contracts to people looking to take advantage of the rest of us.

The people who for years have manipulated and taken advantage of the BOE over the years have shown they are unwilling to change.

If one thousand people in Hoboken say enough on April 15th things will change for the better.

Cat
Member

I found one way to cut the school budget. I tried to watch the board meeting on tv last night, only to discover they aren’t aired live. But they had reruns so I watched those for a while. Did you all know that HHS has 3 vice principals? My high school didn’t have ANY vice principals, and it was larger than HHS. Most schools only have 1 VP. And, thanks to union regs meant to protect the workers, the redundant VPs are probably not fireable.

This is when I start to agree that the only way to make progress is to burn our school system down and start over. Because the system is already so riddled with problems that I don’t think its salvageable.

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