Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The heated controversy regarding the upcoming school referendum is troubling at best. There are a lot of sound bites going around that make our extremely competent superintendent and Board of Ed’s recommendations’ appear misguided, not clearly thought out and worst of all - wasteful. I’d like to remind voters of a few key points:
1. The state of New Jersey that we live in is in a desperate fiscal state due to the overspending wasteful mismanagement of our tax revenue and anti-business regulations.The Pension system is in debt over its head and nearing insolvent…the transportation trust fund is set to deplete this June…and we pay more than any other state to maintain our roads ($2 million dollars per mile)…..yet our Chatham Superintendent and Board of Education is not this norm! Despite raising enrollments and costs of operation, our schools rank high while utilizing lower than average cost per student expenses.
2. Chatham Schools rank consistently at the top of nationwide and state wide school rankings operating at $2,000 less than the state average cost per pupil while ranking second lowest cost per pupil average in Morris County. Think about that and how efficient our school district is run at such a lower than average cost per pupil. This is not only something to be extremely proud of…it should give credibility to those in the position of making unpopular yet necessary recommendations.
3. Our School District has a range of capital needs. Watch Dr. LaSusa’s video and note how moving the theatre to a new building is the domino in the effect that leads to more classrooms and better space allotment. Click here to watch his video, and by all means, please, please do!
4. Our real estate values are directly correlated to the high quality of our schools. There aren’t too many places in this country where a 1500 square foot home get nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in housing value. In this economy, we need to stringently protect what many residents have as their primary assets.
5. Don’t disregard the power of the “Vote No” wave circulating around town. Most people when encouraged to vote No, will vote No down the line. Ask yourself this question…Do you want our kids’ and our school budget eventually getting in the hands of the Chatham Township Committee and their majority voting extra sharp anti-school budget pencils if God forbid the operating budget gets rejected?
I’m a mom who always wanted her kids to go to Catholic School, because that’s where my sister, brother and I went. When my oldest didn’t get in to St. Pat’s because of over enrollment issues, I thought it was catastrophic. Little did I know it would be the best thing that could have ever happened to our family. We are beyond blessed as part of a public school community that outperforms most private schools and makes my boys and myself feel like we are truly part of a cherished family community.
Please support the school district that supports all of our children. Please. Vote YES and Vote Yes on April 21st.
Laura Ali Nonnenmacher
744 Fairmount Ave, Chatham