Sunday Leftovers

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John Farmer, Dean of the Rutgers Law School, argues that the weakening of the power of the governor and the strengthening of local control has led to New Jersey’s current fiscal crisis: “Instead of choosing state spending over local spending, we have for decades chosen both, and we are now nearly bankrupt. Now, more than ever, we need a strong institutional governor; now, more than ever since 1947, the governor lacks institutional strength.”

New Jersey School Boards Association met with
Christie’s “Mandate Review Subcommittee” to talk about some of the new state efficiency regulations that are actually, well, inefficient. And old regulations too: “The exchange also addressed burdensome tenure laws that limit districts’ flexibility, and obstacles to effective collective bargaining, such as the elimination of a school boards ability to implement its last best offer when negotiations are fully exhausted.”

Three separate school districts – Stone Harbor in Cape May County, Elmer in Salem County, and Chesilhurst in Camden County – are fighting closure. Stone Harbor is a K-8 one-school district with 61 kids, Elmer is a K-4 one-school district with 80 kids, and Foster Elementary in Chesilhurst has no kids because the 100 there have already been sent to neighboring Winslow. Nonetheless,” new machines line the computer lab, and $3,000 touch-screen blackboards stand ready in the classrooms. The smell of fresh paint fills the hallway,” as the principal fights to get his students back home.

Bob Ingle on when Corzine jumped the shark: “But I think the end was in sight much sooner, when Corzine addressed a state employee rally, waved his fist into the air and shouted, “I stand with you.” That signaled he didn’t get it, that he works for the people, not union leadership. His employer decided to terminate that relationship Nov. 3. Come Jan. 19 Corzine is a free agent and can be a union organizer, if he thinks that’s his calling.”

Trenton Public School District
axed hundreds of positions last year, and now will cut 49 more because of frozen state aid and the implementation of the School Funding Reform Act which reduced aid to Abbott districts.

Atlantic City School District spent almost $1.5 million on legal costs last year, more than any other school district in the state, according to the Press of Atlantic City. The school superintendent says it’s due to a culture of litigation. A lawyer representing three teachers suing the district says the board “is retaliatory and vindictive, and won’t settle even when it will save money.”

Diane D’amico agrees that we should expand the interdistrict school choice program. (See our posts here and here.)

Weird but true: the Superintendent of Little Ferry has been arrested for forgery, falsifying records and harassment, but the local school board says this will have no impact on his ability to run the district.

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