Bloomfield’s Call To Action

We received this from a tipster who says the following is being emailed to Bloomfield parents…

Tomorrow Today the state legislature is voting on the governor’s new school funding formula. Bloomfield is set to receive a 20% increase which is $3.4 million. If you have 5 minutes tonight or tomorrow morning call Sen. Rice to stress that Bloomfield needs this money. The Senator’s that represent Abbot districts wants to redistribute more money to the urban schools; this could lead to money being taken from Bloomfield. Please call Senator Rice’s office at (973) 371-5665.

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  1. as good liberals we should all cheer educational money flowing out of our wealthy districts to poor urban ones.

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE: That original email was written yesterday (Sunday)… vote is this afternoon (Monday)… S4000 and A500, the school funding reform act of 2008.

  3. IF the “Abbott senators” had their way, money would not be “taken away” from Bloomfield, but the increase might be lessened. The plan calls for at least a 2% increase for all districts, as compared to last year.
    I think that the plan, while not perfect, is a good start. It at least begins to address this issue and offers some promise. While poor districts need assistance, it cannot continue to be the case that districts identified as “wealthy” carry the burden.

  4. Of course school districts could simply try to balance their budgets and not have to rely upon increases in taxes or state grants to achieve goals. Of course those goals could also be to boost books, computers and learning materials instead of inflated building costs and high level salaries.
    But that would be a perfect world…

  5. “While poor districts need assistance, it cannot continue to be the case that districts identified as “wealthy” carry the burden.”
    No, of course not, make other poor districts “carry the burden”.
    Everyone’s for taking money away from the wealthy until it is they which are noted as the wealthy.

  6. Birch, local districts might have some chance of doing those things were they not required to fund state and federally mandated programs with their own resources.

  7. Is Bloomfield a Wealthy district? I absolutely feel for the urban areas. Frankly, they are in such dire need and so desperate they’ve got some amazing charter schools- I am really proud of all the people who have created these schools. Anyone want to start a charter school in Bloomfield? It sounds like people in Montclair and Glen Ridge have a fairly decent school system. Is it ineptness or financial matters that is hurting the Bloomfield school district?

  8. ROC, sometimes I wonder how I lived all of these years without you to finish my thoughts (incorrectly, of course) for me.
    No “type” of district, wealthy or poor, should shoulder the burden alone. The idea is to share the burden. That is the sort of thing that is done in a democracy.
    As I am not wealthy, I don’t fear money being taken away from me. Perhaps you are. If so, God bless you for your good fortune. I am however in favor of everyone paying a fair share. Perhaps you feel that that is what you’ve been doing, though judging from your frequent caterwauling here that comes as a surprise to me. Guess not. Seems you feel that the system is fine, and you’re paying what you should be paying. In any event, I fail to be able to see any point in your post.
    That, too, is a pretty frequent occurence.

  9. Cro,
    You could not be any farther from the truth in your post. Throwing money at poor (less fortunate)districts is what gave us Abbott districts in the first place. We have plenty of history to show (and common sense tells us) that throwing money at lower economic areas DOES NOT make the schools noticibly better. While there is certainly an arguement to help the poorer districts, NJ has already gone WAY past that in it’s current structure. It’s time to abolish the Abbotts and make a funding formula that is fair to everyone and stop the “Robin Hood” mentality that seems to prevade in NJ legislature.

  10. Also, what constitutes a “wealthy district?” Weathier than what? What are the criteria for determining this?

  11. Cheese, nowhere in my post did I suggest throwing money at anyone. My point is that districts identified as “wealthy” are bearing a disproportionate share of the burden right now, and that this plan at least begins to address this issue and to look at different and more equitable methods of funding. How you detremined from that that I favor a continuation of the Abbot scheme, which has been a disaster, is beyond me.
    Prof, Corzine’s plan runs into the hundreds of pages. If you are suggesting that a comprehensive scheme for funding the state’s public schools could be laid out in a barsitanet post, well, I’d have to differ. There are a number of ideas being floated and I’d be happy to have that discussion with you, but if you want to make this about YouTube or the usual baiting that has characterized your contributions in the past, I’ll pass thanks. Maybe you too think the current system is AOK.

  12. Curiously enough, I have been trying to get a free program to both Bloomfield and Newark- bringing yoga classes to the special needs students that are in elementary school. (autistic/etc) I am not going to say who is offereing this amazing service- so no one will think I am trying to advertise anything. I have contacted the obvious people in both places. If anyone has any real leads on how to possibly instigate this, please pass it on here, or if it is private, perhaps email it to and they will kindly forward it to me?
    P.S. I am finding in both locations that they are all so over their heads with difficulties they are practically immobilized. Very sad indeed-

  13. Everyone should read
    before commenting on this thread.
    Basically, the New Jersey Constitution mandates that the Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years.
    Based on this constitutional provision, the NJ State Supreme Court found that evidence of substantial disparities in educational inputs (such as course offerings, teacher staffing, and per pupil
    were related to disparities in school district wealth; that the plaintiffs’ districts, and others, were not providing the
    constitutionally mandated thorough and efficient education; that the inequality of educational opportunity statewide itself
    constituted a denial of a thorough and efficient education; that the failure was systemic; and that the statute and its funding
    were unconstitutional.

  14. Ubuwalker: Do you chacterize the current state of affairs in “thorough and efficient?” I do not.

  15. Given the grammatical horrors of the sentence that begins “The Senator’s….,” I definitely think funding for education should not be cut in Bloomfield’s schools. But, rather, increased, particularly if said tipster is a product of them.

  16. cro, get some air. You move too quickly (as I’ve stated before) to your normal angry position. But then, perhaps that’s just cro being cro.
    Oh, well. To each…..
    As for you throwing up the “funding scheme is so complex, so I can’t begin to answer your question” stuff, please.
    YOU brought up the “fair share” idea. So I asked, what is a fair share?
    (As for the current system, I do not believe that money equals education. You can POUR CASH into “urban,” “poor” or whatever we call them now districts and guess what? Kids still won’t learn… Because, they still live in bad neighborhoods, no fathers, drugs, etc……..)

  17. cathar, how dare you criticize the grammar used— it was an email. As such, rules of grammar- and decorum- do not apply.

  18. “Prof,” how dare you as usual claim to be a properly degreed academic. Stick it in your falsely erudite ear, although I realize that where your own posts are concerned, rules of grammar and common sense usually don’t apply.

  19. Don’t worry wine, the bartender will explain it to you (and when he’s done with you, send him over to me).
    If you want to have equitable funding for schools statewide, then the funding should come from the state and not property taxes. We have to pay one way or the other, but then everybody gets the same funding. Property taxes would only cover municipal expenses (the rich still getting better services if they want to pay).
    Of course you would have to make sure there was no corruption, figure out when to build where, decide what per pupil cost is right and come up with an equally fair way of raising the funds. No problem.

  20. Prof, I am not in the least bit angry. But thank for your concern.
    Asking a question like “what is a fair share”, in a forum like this and on an issue like this, would be a bit like asking you, “hey prof, how would you achieve peace in Iraq?” You could give a pat answer, full of vague promises and unverifiable claims. Or you could say, let’s have a substantive and meaningful debate on this subject. That is what Corzine has started to do here. Even he doesn’t suggest that this is the answer, but it is a start. As far as your contention that urban schools can’t achieve because of the myraid issues they face — issues that have nothing or very little to do with money expended — you’re right about the issues, but off base, in my view, about the inevitability of failure. Educators acn’t fix the father issue or the drugs issue, and they can’t throw up their hands and say we can’t do anything about educating these kids because they have father and drug issues. The success of McNair Academic High School in Jersey City, which draws its students from the same neighborhoods as Lincoln and Snyder and Ferris and Dickinson, gives the lie to the position that these kids can’t learn and can’t achieve.

  21. (cathar…. it was a joke…. However, I tried, but unfortunately my ear was sufficiently erudite so the sticking did not take.)

  22. Actually, prof, if your ear “is” anything, it’s probably “cauliflowered.” (Which is a much better joke!)

  23. It’s healed up nice since that rabbit punch I caught back in ’68 from one of Daley’s henchmen.

  24. I propose $1.75 million be spent immediately in Bloomfield to create an apostrophic studies curriculum!

  25. Yes, I agree appletony.
    Cheese and many others, I don’t mean to be obnoxiously pretentious (just run-of-the-mill pretentious), but it is = it’s and the possessive of it is its.

  26. @Miss Martta
    The point of my comment was not to characterize the current system as “thorough and efficient” — I still think that it could use a lot of work. Of course, your failure of reading comprehension and reasoning would lead you to logically believe that *more* diversions of funds from rich districts to poor districts is necessary.

  27. Ubuwalker: You’re an idiot. I never implied such a thing. I happen to be against the status quo Abbott districting system and have been for years.

  28. You regular posters sure are a lot of fun.
    Thank God that Baristanet keeps you tethered to your computers so you’re not running amok among innocent civilians.

  29. @Miss Martta
    So, if you accept the premise that that the school system is not “thorough and efficient”, and are against the Abbott regime, what, praytell, do we do about failing school systems in poor school districts with poor funding, when the NJ constitution MANDATES that school systems give equal educational opportunities to everyone?

  30. Well, if you listen to my fiance who’s a teacher in the Newark school system, he’ll tell you that you need to get more parental/guardian involvement in the schools. This can mean spending more time helping kids with homework after school, making sure they eat breakfast BEFORE they arrive at school, making sure kids have a place to go after school so they can stay out of trouble. More PTA-like stuff. Getting the parents or guardians to take an active role in their child’s education is key. and it’s the teacher’s job to get the kids excited about learning. Money is a very small part of the picture and you can see that with the current system. More money is funneled into Newark than into surrounding school systems but are the schools any better? Are SAT scores higher? Is there less of a dropout rate?

  31. Accoring to Marion Bolden who is superintendent of the Newark schools:
    These reductions come at a time when we are finally seeing unprecedented gains in student achievement. Although we are not where we want to be, the achievements realized over the past seven years, with the assistance of Abbott programs, cannot be disputed. These include a:
    63 percent reduction in the achievement gap between the district and statewide averages on the grade 4 language arts exam.
    63 percent reduction in the achievement gap between the district and statewide averages on the grade 4 language arts exam.
    57 percent reduction in the achievement gap between the district and statewide averages on the grade 4 math exam.
    34 percent increase in student achievement on the language arts skills assessment test for grades 3-5.
    127 percent increase in stu dent achievement on math skills assessment test for grades 3-5; we met the statewide “adequate yearly progress” benchmark in 2007.
    29 percent increase in student achievement on the 8th-grade proficiency test for language arts for grades 6-7.
    103 percent increase in student achievement on the 8th grade proficiency math test for grades 6-7; we met the statewide “ade quate yearly progress” benchmark in 2007.
    107 percent increase in stu dent achievement on the 8th-grade proficiency science test for grades 6-7.
    As a result of the implementa tion of programs that address stu dent needs, such as School to Careers, Career Academies and Alternative Programs, high school graduation rates increased from 46 percent to 76.3 percent. This represents a 66 percent increase over an 11-year period

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