Below is the text of another email that is circulating around that was written by Middletown resident Kathy Noah. This email is a direct counter to the anonymous letter posted by someone calling themselves ” Jersey Strong” that was making the email circuit tour and was posted on another out of town, local blog that has been known for its right-wing views:
Yikes! People like this scare me!
I did a little checking into this group/person. The word around town is that the 3 guys running are fairly well tied to some of the people on the Middletown Town Council. I don’t have a big problem with that, except I hear that the Town Council is looking to have more say over the Board of Ed. I don’t think people should be voting in less qualified people just so it will make life easier for the Town Council. I think we should be voting on the best qualified person for the job. I guess using the word “job” is not right considering it is not a paid position.
This person/group who wrote this seems to think that the Middletown Board of Ed should be breaking the union. This is a very big fight, and it would need to be addressed at the state level. When the contract with the teachers was negotiated it was considered to be fair and comparable with other local teacher’s union contract. The BOE did request that the teachers consider taking a pay freeze, the the local union leadership did not allow the teachers to take that vote. The union does have the right to work out their contract as written. I do think you will see some changes in the upcoming contract negotiations.
The idea that “you don’t like how life is, so let’s bring in all new people” is just crazy. The fact that our Real Estate taxes are tied to the quality of the education that our children receive is another broken system. This is not something that the BOE or the Town Council can fix. It must be dealt with in Trenton. We need people who are smart and dedicated, and they must have the children’s needs at heart. I think the people on the BOE work very hard to do that. I question the dedication of some of the gentleman this person is recommending. Mascone did not show to the 1st Candidate Forum, nor did he even have the courtesy to respond that he would not be attending. Brand also did not attend the forum, but he sent a very long statement that did not really say much. Hard to know what you are really getting with them.
They also seem very concerned with the number of Administrators that the district has. They do plan to cut 7 (15%) with the proposed budget! These people have big job descriptions including curriculum, state testing, staff oversight & evaluations, student discipline, security, oversight of sports & clubs, etc. I am sure years ago you expected 1 vice principle to handle all the discipline for 1,500 students, and security was not a big issue. Times have changed. In a corporation of 1,500 employees, 10,000 daily guests/students and 17 buildings how many managers and Vice-Presidents would you expect to have?
One of the only things I do agree with them on is nobody wants their taxes going up. Unfortunately, New Jersey is in a fiscal crisis, and Governor Christie has forced large cuts everywhere. He decreased state aid to our school alone by 34%, and some schools lost all state funding. We all pay a lot of income tax to the State of NJ, so I personally have a hard time understanding how this is fair. Considering these drastic cuts the Board of Ed did their best to come up with the proposed budget.
Voting down the school budget on April 20th will still mean Middletown will lose 72.5 teachers positions, 7 Administrators, 20 Para professionals, etc.
If this budget fails, these cuts will still happen and even more will be cut. That means more teacher cuts and larger class sizes. Most likely all Middle School sports and clubs will be eliminated. Maybe the Freshman teams will be lost too. To stay on a sport you cannot miss too many days of school & you must keep your grades up. Not all kids are the perfect academic student by nature. We need ways to keep them interested in going to school and learning.
APRIL 20th VOTE YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 PM – 9 PM