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.”