Christie Cuts State Aid To Middletown’s Schools By $7.2 Million, What does It Mean?

Wednesday afternoon School Districts all over the state learned how much state aid they could expect from Trenton this year, some districts had all state aid withheld while other had little to no aid cut from their budgets.

In Middletown’s case more than $7.2 million or roughly 34% has been cut from state aid, which is on top of the loss of over $2.8 million in surplus funds that Gov. Christie instructed the school system to use earlier this month to make up for the difference in aid that would not be coming to finish out the school year.

At last nights Board of Education meeting, the Board was suppose to unveil its proposed budget for the upcoming school year but could not due to the latest announcement.

Earlier this month, the Board already announced the layoff of 36 teachers, 18 paraprofessionals,2 administrators, 4 secretaries and 4 facilities staffers as a result of the aid cut, now what is the school district suppose to due about this latest announced aid cut that will amount to an $11 million hole in it’s budget, how many more staff members will Middletown lose as a result? I would think doubling the amount of staff cuts would be the starting point.
How many teachers, administrators and support staff will have to be let go? Will a school somewhere in the district have to be closed? If so, which one and what will that do to class sizes throughout the district. Class size averages about 22 kids per class right now, will class size increase to 35 or more per classroom?
How about after school programs and extra-curricular activities? Will sports programs be cut, what will Middletown do without football, soccer, wrestling, field hockey or other sports to keep the community and kids active, involved and engaged in school spirit, self-worth and education?
Gov. Christie doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about how these cuts in aid will effect the education of Middletown students or students in other school districts receive. It seems that all he is concerned about is breaking the back of the NJEA and its members, with little regard for the collateral damage that he will cause in the process.
Christie has told school districts across the state that there should be no need to cut programs or teachers to balance their budgets, he has stated to them that in essence, all a school district needs to do is break existing teacher contracts by freeze pending contractual teacher salary increase and imposing higher health care co-pays on the NJEA members. Which makes a lot of sense since Christie himself realized that he couldn’t do the same thing to state workers in order to balance the State’s budget.
Other than breaking the backs of the public unions in this state, which I’ll admit need to be overhauled in someway, Christie is going after the public education system in order to push his plans for Charter School vouchers and school choice.
Both he and his Education Secretary Bret Schundler, are advocates for Charter Schools even though it has been shown that charter schools often have worse track records at teaching our kids than public schools have.
Charter schools are for profit operations that do not always make the right decisions for children based on education standards, they make decisions that effect their bottom line and in so doing the quality of education suffers. Statistics show that for each charter school that has some success 2 or more fail and go out of business.
Is that what New Jerseyians really want for their kids education, a weakened public education system that will drive children to a possibly inferior Charter School? I don’t think so, residents for the most part believe in the public school system and feel that it is an important institution that needs to be maintained.
It may not be perfect but neither are most Charter Schools that are more interested in their bottom line than the overall quality of their education.
This latest announcement of cuts in State aid to education will have devastating effects on Middletown and other municipalities through out Monmouth County and the State.


Filed under charter schools, Education Funding, Gov. Chris Christie, Middletown Board of Education, Monmouth County, school budgets, School cuts

5 responses to “Christie Cuts State Aid To Middletown’s Schools By $7.2 Million, What does It Mean?

  1. Cut the pork at the administration levels in town & Central Office in the school districts.There is not need to cut any chldren's programs. Many positions in the townhsip could be part-time jobs the children should not bear the burden of overspending. Stop playing politics with our kids!

  2. I would tend to agree with you, but there is not $11 million worth of fat to cut in the Middletown school budget.And that is how much Middletown needs to come up with to provide the same service to our kids as in years past.It's ugly and all will be hurt from it.

  3. The Board of Education overstepped their bounds by spending their stimulus money on a program which needs increased tax dollars that the budget does not have to sustain it. Why? They new the stimiulus money was a 1 time hit. The pre-school cannot sustain itself, so now they cry about the 2% loss, which if they did not spend the stimulus money so quickly they'd have the reserve. The Board can cut without it having a effect on the children, Central office can be cut, Why does it need so many administrators? Why 93 secretaries? Why 7 Assistant Principals in each high school? How many Vice Principles? Why Directors overseeing each principle? Layers and Layers of Pork!! Get rid of them, and we would not need to touch a teacher or program. Plus at the County level how many layers in the Dept of Education? Consolidate & have the teachers contribute more towards their health & pension benefits, currently they only pay 1.5% while most federal employees pay 25%. As a taxpayer I resent paying towards their healthcare & pension benefits which includes their families, when I have to pay for ALL of mine & my families too. It's just not fair! I've had enough, and asking them to pay more is not unreasonable. It would again, save teachers and programs from being cut.

  4. AS I said previously I tend to agree.But with an $11 million shortfall in the Middeltown BOE budget thanks to Trenton, Middeltown will not be cutting pork fat from the budget, the BOE wil be butchering it to the bare bone.Even if teachers accepted a 1 year pay freeze by this weekend, so that the BOE could prepare the budget for submittal to Trenton, that still would not make up for the need to cut programs and can expect larger class sizes, the elimination of some sports, arts and language programs on top of layoffs.As for all-day kindergarten, once put in place it was self sustainable, NO new teachers or resources were added fro the program, they were shifted from one area to the other. The stimulus money help cover the costs for the set-up.

  5. At a cost of 12,000.00 per student – I will take a voucher then, if they cut any children's programs. Vouchers should be an option. Many charter schools will then open, our children will have it all! Heck RBC and CBA are 12,000.00 a year. Better education, sports, and look better for college. Middletown school districts should wake up, in a couple of years we can close some schools so many students will opt to be in charter & vocational schools. Look at the success of Mast

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