[Correction: Numbers were revised / corrected and re-posted at 1pm on 11/6/2019]General 2019 Election - Unofficial Results
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3. What impact do you anticipate the influx of new apartment development will have on the Teaneck public schools and how should the district plan for this?
The Teaneck school district commissioned a study to gauge the impact of the near-term development projects on our school system and both have found that we can currently absorb the estimated 150 or so children expected to arrive. However, although the apartment complexes are being marketed as ‘luxury’ apartments with the expectation that a certain demographic will be renting them, there are no guarantees that those in the market for luxury apartments will indeed be the ones that rent those units. Currently, one of the completed projects is having difficulty renting out their units at the amount of rent they are asking for. In addition, the Pre-K program could be a pipeline to increase overall enrollment in the district. Therefore, I think that long term planning should allow for the possibility that enrollment will increase over time.
Although there is controversy about whether Pre-K programs are beneficial, it doesn’t mean there is no value in a high-quality Pre-K program. In a diverse community like Teaneck, we need to seriously look at implementing programs that work to elevate the academic achievement of all students with different learning styles. While the long -term benefits of Pre-K have mixed results, we believe that by appropriately supporting students as they move through our school system, students will be the beneficiaries of a world- class education. In addition, Pre-K provides high quality childcare for young parents helping to make Teaneck become a sought-after community for new families. A significant challenge would be the inability to meet the demands of the changing demographic groups attending Teaneck schools.
Based on the reports I have read, in terms of children attending the public schools the effect seems to be minimal, about 60 children. The numbers, spread among different ages/grades will have an insignificant impact on class size. So from that aspect, I expect a positive impact. On the other hand, anytime you have a change in the demographics of any community it is important for the newcomers, as well the people who already reside there to find ways to get to know each other and work together to continue to improve the community.
Last night the Northeast Teaneck Block Presidents Association held a candidate forum for the Board of Education election on November 5th..
Video of the forum has been posted courtesy of Allison Davis
On November 5th, please join me in supporting incumbent Board of Education Trustee Martin Ramirez (Column 3) and Yassine Elkaryani (Column 5).
As a child of a public school teacher, I’ve always been taught the importance of a strong and vibrant school system.
As a product of the NJ public schools, I am the beneficiary of those strong schools and understand the need to maintain scholastic excellence.
But perhaps most important of all, as a parent of a child in our public schools, I have the same vested interest we all should, in ensuring that our kids have the benefit of those best capable of stewarding the school system into the future.
Marty Ramirez and Yassine Elkaryani have the passion, expertise and dedication necessary to confront “#LikeWeHaveAlwaysDoneIt policy-making” and kick-start a productive conversation for long-needed changes. Changes that will enhance our children’s experiences in the classroom, without sacrificing services.
This is an important election. It is a referendum on whether the old ways, which have proven unsuccessful for far too many of our students, should be further entrenched — or it can be an opportunity for voices of those dedicated to our students’ well-being.
Check out the platforms of Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Elkaryani and please join me in sending them to the School Board on November 5th.
Parent, Resident, Taxpayer.
Thank you to the League of Women Voters of Teaneck for taking this on and providing this information to the voters.
You can see the document online here
Video of the forum has been posted courtesy of the League of Women Voters of Teaneck
League of Women Voters of Teaneck
Board of Education 2019
Our voters’ guide questionnaire and letter of invitation to the Candidates’ Night, sponsored by LWV Teaneck, was mailed to each of the candidates for Teaneck Board of Education at the end of August. In addition to asking them about their Teaneck residency, occupation, education, family & community involvement, we asked each candidate to answer the following questions and to limit answers to a total of 500 words or less:
This Voters Guide has been prepared by the League of Women Voters of Teaneck, a nonpartisan group of local residents assuring that all eligible voters have he opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote. Our organization provides opportunities for voter registration each year, works to improve our government; studies local, state and national issues, and strives to engage all citizens in the civic decisions that could impact their lives.
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”
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….
Teaneck BOE Comprehensive Annual Financial Report “CAFR” (2018)
Teaneck Special Education Study (2018)
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.
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.
For this info, we need to look at page 22 of the CAFR:
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.
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.
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.
Today, June 19th, the State of NJ School Ethics Commission indicates that it will review the complaint in case #C75-18, Pagan v. Ardie Walser.
You can view the complaint here: Complaint against Ardie Walser, President of the Teaneck Board of Education
President Walser moved to dismiss the complaint, as frivolous and requested sanctions. The Ethics Commission received responses from the parties on the motion and issued it’s ruling on May 3rd.
The Decision of the State Ethics Commission indicates that they denied the motion (to dismiss the complaint as frivolous) and denied any requests for sanctions..
Based on the foregoing, and in reviewing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (Complainant), the Commission voted to deny the Motion to Dismiss in its entirety. Notwithstanding this determination, the Commission notes that, because the Complainant agreed to voluntarily withdraw all allegations against Respondent Arjumand, Respondent Walser is the only remaining Respondent. The Commission also voted to find that the Complaint is not frivolous, and to deny Respondents’ request for sanctions.
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.
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.
(comments in blue appear in the report itself) Continue reading “Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development”
We have received questions from residents regarding several recent actions taken by the Board of Education. This post will focus on the lease of Christ Church by the Township for its pre-k program.
At the last regular Board of Education meeting of 2018, the Board approved item #19 on the agenda:
Teaneck Today has confirmed that this approval, for a lease to rent the Christ Church for use as a pre-school was done without the Board of Education trustees having seen any lease documents.
In fact, based on an Open Public Records Act request sent to us from a resident, it appears that there is no lease in place to use the facility, at all. Continue reading “Questions abound with Board of Education Pre-K program”