Save Our Schools Montclair To Wear Red at BoE Meeting Tonight

Save Our Schools Montclair (SOS) will be at tonight’s Board of Education meeting wearing red and holding signs saying Save Our Schools! The group has been collecting signatures in a petition to bring to the meeting. The online number currently is 585, but Christine McGoey, one of the founders of the group, tells me that number does not reflect the total number of signatures collected so far, as people are distributing  hard copy petitions to collect signatures. In an email sent out this weekend, they urge:

The four working group presentations ended on November 15, and this will be the board’s first opportunity to discuss the working groups’ suggestions and begin the process of putting together the 2011-2012 budget. As usual, the board will take public comments during Monday’s meeting. Please speak out!! Let the Board know you want to keep our schools open, keep kindergarten and limit class size!

McGoey spoke with Barista Kids about what SOS is hearing from the public. “People are asking, how can the Board fill another administrative position by hiring a Director of Pupil services at  $100,000+ on Nov. 17th, after it has been telling people on Nov.15th that it is considering the drastic, irreversible measure of closing a school to save $860,000?  This offends their common sense. People are asking, if a building truly needs to be sold or leased to generate income, why should it be a school? These are our schools, our town, and they should come first, not last. Many people are urging the BOE to look to 22 Valley Road to generate income. SOS has asked bankers in real estate finance to present a workable plan.”

SOS plans to establish revenue streams to help  support the schools in difficult times and beyond. They have ordered red wristbands, which are expected to arrive this week, and are asking interested people and businesses in the community to lend a hand in selling them. 

McGoey added, ” The people of Summit, NJ have established an endowment to support their schools. We can do the same. We are also working on an affinity credit card and numerous other efforts. We welcome help from the community. Any person who wants to help save our schools can contact SOS here.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. “Let the Board know you want to keep our schools open, keep kindergarten and limit class size!”

    And let them know you can afford the increase in taxes that this will bring!!!

    But isn’t this the same Board (hand picked and unelected!!!) that built a new school (that looks like a jail) that we didn’t need?

    TELL ‘EM!!!…. But I suggest you wear GREEN, as in cash…

  2. SOS-Short on Specifics.

    Selling plastic wristbands, or “…ask[ing] bankers in real estate finance to present a workable plan.” (Whatever that means) or an affinity card are not going to do much.

    Im sure they mean well, but the numbers just aren’t there.

    Look at
    1. Reducing Salaries and Benefits.
    2. Reducing and streamlining Special Education programs.

  3. The looming decision is quickly becoming how large a layoff will there be? And how will we balance the losses between, teachers, policemen, firemen and administrators. If there is another mechanism to get our town expenses under control, I would love to hear it.

  4. Bloomfield has $2.4 mil to cut from the school budget. It’s going to hurt everyone involved.

    Sanford hit the nail on the head.

  5. Hey Prof, how about this??

    Let’s empty the Bullock school and distribute those kids throughout the rest of the district. The teachers would rearrange themselves per their contract. Then we could rent out Bullock to a for-profit school, say something like DeVry (I am assuming that those schools are not tax-exempt. It has to be a ratable of some kind). Heck, maybe we could even get Katharine Gibbs back. OR maybe we could rent it to Montclair State, and they could run a shuttle through town to get there, say every 20 minutes or so. They’d of course need more than one shuttle bus. Maybe they could run on propane! Along the way the MSU shuttle could make stops along Valley Rd and Bloomfield Ave, so that those students would also help support local business.

    OOH Here’s another one! Sell it to Wal-Mart! There’s all that extra parking across the street now that Pathmark is gone, so all we’d need is a pedestrian bridge across Bloomfield (since drivers like to run over peds around here).

    Whaddya say?? 😀

  6. Let’s don’t forget to get rid of the bureaucratic overhead at the BOE itself.
    Do we really need all these director positions at the BOE? Do we really need all those Secretaries in the 21st century?
    Why do we have a 3 month summer break? Would it not better for our kids to increase the school year? Why do we have these funny conference days during the school year?

  7. Saw the crowds of panicked parents at the BOE meeting wearing the names of their favorite supposedly endangered school.

    Big hint — there won’t be any school closings. By threatening closings they’ll get the town so lathered up that when they do something else (like increase taxes) we’ll all feel relieved.

    How about we get some recommendations from educational experts with the interests of students and taxpayers (ie not school board employees)?

    How about we focus on effective instruction and classroom teachers instead of endless aids, special subjects, etc. SMALL HINT — NOW THAT WE HAVE MORE CLASSROOMS, WE CAN REDUCE CLASS SIZE BY REDUCING THE NUMBER OF NON-CLASSROOM TEACHERS.

    How about we rationalize the elementary school lottery by including distance from school as a relevant factor to reduce the number of buses required without reducing diversity?

  8. @Kay, my thoughts IN CAPS:

    “Let’s empty the Bullock school and distribute those kids throughout the rest of the district. The teachers would rearrange themselves per their contract. Then we could rent out Bullock to a for-profit school, say something like DeVry (I am assuming that those schools are not tax-exempt. It has to be a ratable of some kind).”

    GREAT IDEA. BUT IT BEGS THE QUESTION OF WHY THE THING WAS BUILT IN THE FIRST PLACE. I WOULD SUPPORT A “COMMITTEE” OR “TASK FORCE” TO LOOK INTO RENTING IT OUT.

    “Heck, maybe we could even get Katharine Gibbs back. OR maybe we could rent it to Montclair State, and they could run a shuttle through town to get there, say every 20 minutes or so. They’d of course need more than one shuttle bus. Maybe they could run on propane! Along the way the MSU shuttle could make stops along Valley Rd and Bloomfield Ave, so that those students would also help support local business.”

    WHILE IT’S CLEAR YOU’RE MAKING A JOKE, IT DOESN’T HURT TO ASK MSU IF THEY WOULD BE INTERESTED IN A “SCHOOL” THAT LOOKS LIKE A PRISON- THOUGH THEY’D HAVE TO PUT A TERRA COTTA ROOF ON BULLOCK…

    OOH Here’s another one! Sell it to Wal-Mart! There’s all that extra parking across the street now that Pathmark is gone, so all we’d need is a pedestrian bridge across Bloomfield (since drivers like to run over peds around here).

    FOLKS AROUND HERE WOULD GO NUTZ OVER THE EVIL “WAL-MART”. HOWEVER, IF TARGET WERE INTERESTED…… AGAIN, I WOULD LOOK INTO EVERYTHING.

    (But Bullock will never close because it’s NEW.)

    Will you be presenting your ideas to the Board?

  9. Good morning, Prof! You’re right – if they installed a Spanish-tile roof and hung some plants from the eaves, it might look a little better!

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Board’s lack of foresight umpteen years ago, by letting the Grove Street school go, brought on the new school. If I remember right, they proposed the project back when everyone was flush with cash and it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. I guess I wasn’t paying attention back then. I think it’s a disgrace. Actually, besides it being a complete waste of money, I’m more annoyed that they tore down the Y to build it. Shameful.

    OH and don’t get me started on that traffic light there, either. They knew for HOW LONG that there would be a new school on that corner? And we wait until August to announce the traffic plan and claim that they hope to have the signal light fully operational by the first day of school? Are you *kidding* me?? Who dropped the ball on that?? That’s like me buying my Thanksgiving turkey and realizing after I got home that I don’t have an oven. D’OH!!

    Anyway, I digress. I had to leave last night’s meeting early, unfortunately, before any of the real fur started flying. (Though Ms. Grill’s comments did seem to generate some grumblings.) I will say that it seemed to me like the three Board members that I did hear were talking out of both sides of their mouths. First, one says that we can’t afford small classes/schools because they are inefficient. Then someone suggested more Small Learning Communities at the High School, or bringing back an alternative school (and putting them at Renaissance), or taking the middle school kids who require tutoring and sending them to Renaissance instead.

    Hubby agrees with Overthinking, that they are only ‘blowing smoke’ and it’s ‘all about control’. (whatever THAT means … he was more interested in watching the Jets lose anyway.)

    Actually the MSU thing was half-serious.

    Personally I like Target better too; at least I DID, before they brought in their sorry excuse for a grocery department and thus compromised the selection in the entire remainder of the store. I now walk out of there with my purse a lot heavier than I used to. Oh well, their loss!

    I will be working on my letter to the Board soon.

Comments are closed.