Sunday Leftovers

New Jerseyans want Mercedes Benz-level services, and they don't even want to pay Kia prices. The basic reality is, both as a nation and as a state, we have been living a lifestyle we can no longer afford. There are going to be wrenching adjustments that have to take place
James W. Hughes, a Rutgers University dean and public policy expert, in today's Asbury Park Press.

The time has come for the NJEA to move beyond pitting traditional public schools against charter schools in a counterproductive struggle for positive public opinion. From this point on, we need to all work together to ensure that high-performing schools are given the chance to succeed while underperforming schools are either reformed or closed.
Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Raymond Lesniak in a "Reader Forum" in the New Jersey County News, Jan. 1.

Well-Managed Schools Pay Price: Public schools with surplus funds over 2% of total budgets, typically targeted for special projects and tax relief, will have to forgo state aid until they spend down their surplus, according to Corzine’s recent proposal. From the Gloucester County News: "I equate it to an individual being told by their employer that they aren't going to get a paycheck because it was found out you had extra money in your bank account," said Joseph Jones III, superintendent of Woodbury schools. "It's an unusual situation for schools to have to face mid-year where revenue that we had anticipated coming to us from the state we may not receive."

NJSBA Cut Off at the Knees?: Assemblyman John Burzichelli is introducing legislation that would make membership in New Jersey School Boards Association voluntary. Annual dues total $7.4 million per year, 3/4 of NJSBA's $10 million budget. From The Record: "The NJSBA is... a voice for school boards and we fight against legislation that would hurt schools and drive up costs. We’re the only statewide education organization that represents people who are not school employees, serving as a necessary counterbalance to the well-financed, powerful NJEA labor union."

Maybe She Has a Bridge Loan: The DOE’s lawsuit against Superintendent Barbara A. Trzeszkowski and the Keansburg school district has been delayed for three weeks while both sides try to work out a settlement. Keansburg Schools signed a contract with Trzeszkowski that awards her a $741,000 severance package, plus an annual pension of $119,000 a year and health benefits.

NJEA and RTTT: The Asbury Park Press assails NJEA for campaigning against N.J.'s application for Race To The Top federal funds: "The New Jersey Education Association is either blind to how defensive and self-serving it appears to the citizens of New Jersey. Or it just doesn't care."