Letters to the Editor

Cut Costs Don't Cut SOMSD Teachers

e32eccfea8270b2a7bd7_education_cuts.jpg
e32eccfea8270b2a7bd7_education_cuts.jpg

The following is a letter to Dr. Ramos and the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education, which has been reprinted with permission.

We the undersigned believe that a good public education for all of our students is one of the most important things we can provide to invest in our future as a community.

We also understand that there are often obstacles and difficult decisions need to be made when it comes to keeping costs under control and to keep resulting tax increases to a minimum. That said, it is alarming to see recommendations for cutting teaching staff when our district’s class sizes are already at the upper end of where they should be. We contend that every avenue must be exhausted before we look at cutting teachers or deferring capital improvements to our crumbling buildings.

Sign Up for E-News

Related to the aforementioned goal, below are some items we feel you need to consider before making cuts to people who directly serve students on a daily basis:

  • It is not prudent for administration to recommend teacher cuts when we only expect class sizes to rise and we continue to see administrator salaries and head count go up.
  • The only time teaching staff reduction is prudent is when population growth is stagnant or population is on a downward trend that is not the case here. 
  • We cannot support whatever comes out of the strategic direction with less teachers. If anything, there would be a need to increase the number of educators in our district.  
  • What other areas have been examined prior to recommending teacher reduction?
  • Have we looked at all the administrative cuts possible before looking to cut 20 full-time staff members?
  • Is it necessary that we continue to provide performance bonuses to administrators and supervisors who already receive a good salary?
  • Is it necessary to provide opt-out incentives to people who are already covered by a spouse’s insurance coverage?
  • We’ve spent over $50K in the last year to hire consultants for things we couldn’t handle internally. We need to look at cutting these costs long before teachers are cut.
  • We’ve spent countless dollars (during a budget crunch) on programs that were ill-conceived and poorly implemented like International Baccalaureate, Singapore Math, Win Period at the middle schools, etc. 
  • Our district’s lack of responsiveness to parents, employees and disagreements have resulted in high-cost settlements of lawsuits that could have been addressed before litigation was necessary.

As our elected representatives, we ask that you work to ensure that administration seeks cost efficiencies in other areas which will have a minimal impact on the students who are the reason we’re all here.  We will not make our schools better by laying off the teachers that are the child’s main window to education.

Supporters can add their name to this letter, which is on Change.org, and has 120 signatures as of Feb. 25.

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

A Tale of Two Very Different Town Administrator Searches

Both Maplewood and South Orange are looking for new town administrators at the same time, a rare occurrence.

And their approaches couldn’t be any more different.

Maplewood, whose long-time administrator Joseph Manning is retiring May 31, launched its search last month the old-fashioned way: hiring a recruiting firm and letting them do the heavy lifting (or more appropriately the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

South Orange Police Blotter - 7 Burglaries Reported

February 24, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of Feb. 24

Burglary - A Brookside Rd. resident reported that sometime between 10:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19, and 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20, actor(s) unknown entered her garage and stole a set of spare keys to her residence. The actor(s) also rummaged through her unlocked vehicle, which was parked in the garage at the time, but nothing appears to have ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Teens Arrested for Theft from Auto

February 12 - Theft; A resident from Burroughs Way reported that sometime over the past day, a snow blower was stolen from an open garage.

February 17- Theft from Auto; At approximately 5:15 p.m., two males were observed going through vehicles on Hillcrest Rd.  Officers responded to the area and were able to locate two males fitting the description. The males, 18 year ...

Women's Club of Maplewood Donates $300K to Maplewood Library Foundation Capital Campaign

February 23, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Library Foundation's Capital Campaign received $300,000 from the Women's Club of Maplewood on Thursday, the first major gift since the campaign began on Feb. 22, according to a release from the Maplewood Library.

The capital campaign is raising funds to renovate the main Maplewood Library "that will serve the community for generations to ...

Maplewood Chili Cookoff this Sunday Combines Food, Family Fun, and Fundraising for a Good Cause

Update on February 23: All Tasting Passes to the Maplewood Chili Cookoff are sold out. A few more spots are left to submit a chili, which can be done here.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There's a new annual tradition in SOMA: The Maplewood Chili Cookoff. Back at The Woodland for its second year on Sunday, Feb. 25, the cookoff has local residents sharing their best chili ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Education Other

Carousel_image_efc9aab53025bfd60fbe_mms_presents_r_h_cinderella

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Maplewood Middle School Auditorium, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School Presents Rogers & ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sun, February 25, 6:00 PM

The Burgdorff Center for the Performings Arts, Maplewood

Auditions for The Strollers': A Midsummer Night's ...

Arts & Entertainment

School Walkout Efforts Reach West Orange High School

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Hundreds of West Orange High School (WOHS) students participated in a peaceful walkout Wednesday afternoon in support of their fellow classmates in South Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people last week.

“They want to see change [in gun control],” said WOHS Principal Hayden Moore, who was present during the impromptu student-organized walkout.

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Sky Zone on Rt. 22 in Springfield Opened Saturday

February 24, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Mayor Rich Huber and Township Committeeman Chris Capodice joined State Senator Tom Kean and Sky Zone officials to “cut the ribbon” for their official opening on Saturday, February 24. After officially signing in, guests were allowed free rein of the facility. Some of what the 35,000 square foot park includes wall to wall trampoline courts, a warped wall to ...

Dunkin Donuts Approved for Abandoned Checkers Location on Rt.22 in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Longtime Springfield residents Mr. and Mrs. Sailesh Patel of Hillside Avenue were approved for a drive through Dunkin Donuts at 30 Route 22 in Springfield. They are doing business as Soni Realty LLC. 

The site currently has an abandoned Checkers' restaurant on the property. Safety was a concern of Board members at the meeting Tuesday night. The meeting ...

My Clutter is Taking Over! With Jamie Novak at the Millburn Library

February 24, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to welcome back Jamie Novak to the library to talk about your clutter on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium.

If you can't open your drawers, if stuff topples out of closets, and you haven't seen the top of your kitchen table in a while then run, don't walk, to this de-cluttering comedy show! Welcome back to ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe - Feb. 23 to March 1

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Alaskan Cod Fillet $9.99lb (Ashley Fish Market)
Chuck for Stew/Stroganoff $6.99lb (Meat)
Thumann’s Deluxe Ham $8.98lb (Deli)
Midnight Moon $18.99lb (Cheese)
Red Globe Grapes $3.49lb
Cavendish Hash Browns 2/$5
Beef Meatloaf $6.99lb (Prep Food)
Polly O Ricotta $5.99 ...

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac problems is provided to ...