Superintendent’s Letter on Preschool & District Office Plans

The following letter (link here) was received via email today from the Superintendent of Teaneck Schools, Dr. Irving:

Dear Teaneck Community,

On Wednesday, August 21, our Board of Education approved two resolutions that are essential to moving this district forward for our children and this community.

The first resolution solidifies our commitment to the expansion of preschool education Continue reading “Superintendent’s Letter on Preschool & District Office Plans”

Teaneck BOE by the numbers

A post on the Teaneck Today Facebook group (join here), references the recent record article on how much school districts in NJ spend per student.

The Record article quotes the amounts listed in the State’s Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending 2019.  According to that report, we spend $27,670 per pupil.

But this is only part of the story.

Our expenses don’t go up or down based on the number of individual students, but they do flow with aggregates.  Lose a few students one year and there’s likely very little change in expenses.  Same with gaining a few.  That’s why the independent report from the Board of Ed on the impacts of development don’t show more than a nominal increase based on new residents.  They simply don’t increase any particular class size beyond the point where a new teacher would be necessary.  Costs may be phrased in the “per pupil” equation, but they need to be contextualized to be properly understood.

Some of those commenting, have pointed out that not all students have the same “per pupil cost” and that there’s a mismatch in the number of kids attending public vs. private schools.  This is accurate, but without more information, it’s not very helpful.

So let’s find a place to start….

Here are our numbers:

Documentation:
Teaneck BOE Comprehensive Annual Financial Report “CAFR” (2018)
Teaneck Special Education Study (2018)

How many students do we have?

To determine the number of students, we need only look at page 2 of the CAFR:

We have 3,953  students enrolled across our district for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

I used 2016-17 as opposed to the 2017-18 CAFT number of 3,971 so this can be compared to the special education report that covers the same time period.  This number includes charter school students that reside in town, but excludes enrollments for in-district preschool and non-public school students.

How many students are in general vs special education instruction?

This number can be found in the Special Education report on page 26 (Table 4):

We have 3,611 students in the district, of which 1.035 are classified as having a disability.

How much do we spend on general and special education instruction?

For this info, we need to look at page 22 of the CAFR:

What is the per pupil cost for instruction?

If we take the cost for Regular Instruction ($49,686,728) and divide by the total enrollment, less those classified as special education (2,576), we get a spend per pupil of $19,288.33

If we take the cost for Special Education Instruction ($25,491,773) and divide by the total classified as special education, we get a spend per pupil of $24,629.73

While this still doesn’t tell the entire story, it says a bit more than the records simple use of $27,670.

Other costs

Clearly, this only deals with the costs of instruction, which, while a large share of the total budget, is not the complete picture.  There are capital and fixed costs for everything from repairs, to heat, to…. you name it.  The BOE covers a lot of spending.  But instruction is a good place to start a discussion on comparative spending.

How do other towns compare?

That’s a post for another day.  If you have the ability and want to show your work, I’d be happy to post your information.

 

Teaneck Pride

What happened?

When I started to put some words down in order the create Teaneck’s first proclamation naming June as Pride month, I knew that I wouldn’t win everyone over.  Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I could get it on the agenda.

Little did I know that what we tried to do as an act of inclusivity, caring and respect – would be portrayed in social media posts and beyond as “disheartening“, “shameful” and evidence that Teaneck is “no longer inclusive“.

These views weren’t from those against the proclamation — but the people that waited, some for decades, for those words to finally be uttered in our Town.

So, let’s talk a bit about what happened and what we want to accomplishtogether. Continue reading “Teaneck Pride”

Regional Symposium on Deer Management

Earlier this month, elected officials and mayors from the region met to discuss deer management at a regional symposium featuring wildlife biologists from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Coverage of the event can be found here:
Deer Dilemma Forum: Lethal vs. Non-Lethal Options Discussed
Additional coverage: Pascack Press.

Here is a video of the presentation from last December and the slides from the 6/5/19 presentation can be found below. Continue reading “Regional Symposium on Deer Management”

A forum on development

Thank you to all those that created this opportunity (as well as those that came out last night), to discuss the best way to move our township forward and meet the needs of our future.

Here is the video of last night’s event for those that weren’t able to attend.

(The forum was held by the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee not the Township.

Live streaming and the video were provided by Allison Davis.)

 

Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development

Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development

The Teaneck Board of Education hired Whitehall Associates, Inc. to conduct an independent analysis of the effects of new development on the Teaneck Schools.  The analysis (available below) projects enrollment based on particular projects and to the overall school system through the 2023-24 school year.  Some of the numbers are projections (as the pre-k and K classes haven’t been born yet), but the rest are based on trends and the scientific methodology is outlined in the report and consistent with NJDOE practices.

From the Report:

  • Whitehall Associates, Inc. is considered a qualified demographer by the New Jersey Department of Education
  • Whitehall Associates, Inc. states that the demographic report it prepared for the Teaneck Board of Education was prepared in
    compliance with the appropriate law and administrative code.
  • Bernard Piaia, at the NJDOE Office of School Facilities, has agreed to accept this report for review and consideration, if it is submitted in its complete final form, with an original signature, along with the NJDOE cohort survival worksheets for the Long Range Facility Plan.\
  • The original of this report is on electronic file at the offices of Whitehall Associates, In c. and is available for examination by the appropriate
    authorities.
  • Whitehall Associates was retained by the Teaneck Board of Education to prepare a demographic study for the Teaneck Public School District. The information in this demographic report is suitable for inclusion in any document to be forwarded to the New Jersey Department of Education for matters concerning school facilities.

 

For those that want the bottom line up front:  The Teaneck school enrollment number for total students in 2018-19 is currently 3,504 students.

In 2023-24, that number is projected to be 3,599 students.  An increase of 95 students across 13 grades.


The Independent Demographic Analysis Report

(comments in blue appear in the report itself) Continue reading “Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development”

Proposed Changes To Garbage Hauling Hours (with list as currently permitted in 2019/04)

In NJ, garbage haulers can operate during specific hours.  What those hours are depends on two things:

1) The tariffs issued by the State and County
2) Requirements of municipal ordinance

The Teaneck Municipal Code does not currently contain any restrictions on when haulers may operate, so the times default to tariff schedules.  Those times are listed below for the various haulers in Teaneck.

As you will see, some haulers (Armaniaco & Son, LLC, Generation Waste Services, Inc., Ippolito Industries, Inc., Interstate Waste Services of NJ, and Waste Management of NJ) can operate around the clock, 24/7.  For many, that means loud disruptions at 4am or sometimes even earlier.

The council will be taking up garbage collection hours in our May meeting.  The proposal will limit hauling hours to a minimum of 5am.  Several weeks ago, we also reached out to all sanitation companies requesting comment as to whether the proposed change will affect their ability to operate and / or cause an increase in prices.

As of today, we have not received a response.

The current version of Ordinance 11-2019 can be found here: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER 19 OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE ENTITLED “GARBAGE AND REFUSE” RESPECTING HOURS OF COLLECTION

TL;DR  I’ve requested the current times of operation of various haulers in town ad we plan to curtail excessively early runs.  The information is now available below: Continue reading “Proposed Changes To Garbage Hauling Hours (with list as currently permitted in 2019/04)”

Public Comment is not Testimony: A primer on when / how to speak at public meetings

Public input at meetings of council and statutory boards is critical to the proper functioning of government.  But not all opportunities to speak are the same.

If you came out to speak at yesterday’s Zoning Board hearing against an application – it was not entered in the record for the application.

In this post, I’ll outline the problem and then make a few suggestions as to how we might find a fix.

Types of Public Input

Continue reading “Public Comment is not Testimony: A primer on when / how to speak at public meetings”