To The TAPinto Nutley Editor:
I am a Nutley resident, and parent of a 5th grader at Yantacaw and an 8th grader at JWMS. From the time my oldest son entered kindergarten, I have been hearing about the overcrowding problem in Nutley. And I have watched it happen first hand. Lunch periods at Yantacaw went from two half hour periods to three twenty minute periods to accommodate the growing number of students. Class sizes have grown from 17 - 18 kids per class to 23 - 24. I have seen presentation after presentation about how our 6th graders are falling behind the curve and then never catching up educationally as a result of not being part of a true middle school model. I have heard from friends with high school students about their children having gym in the hall due to lack of space.
These are our current problems. No one wants their taxes to go up, but the reality of the situation is, if we don't make this investment in our children, our schools, and our town now, things don't just remain status quo -- they get worse.
Whether or not you have a child in the school system, you will also be affected, because no one will buy a house in an overcrowded, underperforming school district. As was stated at the Town Forum at Yantacaw, if this referendum doesn't pass, your property value will go down more than your taxes will go up if it does pass.
My husband and I are not rich. We live on a single income. We do without in some areas so we can provide in others. We will feel a tax increase, just like everyone else in this town. But we cannot afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost to move into a home in another school district. We cannot afford the several thousands of dollars a year it would cost to send our children to private school. And the truth is, even if we could, we don't want to go any place else. We love this town. We love this community. And we are willing to invest in its future. We hope others will do the same.
Editor's Note: This letter is in response to proposed school construction in Nutley. $66.5 Million September 2017 School District Referendum Proposed by Nutley Board of Education