Quote of the DayAugust 29, 2009
NEA’s “Manifesto” on Education ReformAugust 31, 2009
The Courier-Post reports on south Jersey districts that are laying off teachers, raising class size, and cutting out enrichment and sports programs due to flat state aid and/or failed budget votes.
H1N1 Goes Viral:
A hacker broke into the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional School District’s website this week and posted the message, “No school due to swine flu,” reports the Star-Ledger. The district erased the message but it went right back up the next day.
Wanderlust in Bergen:
After the administration at Bergen County Technical and Special Services School Districts spent $900,000 in travel to China, Taiwan and Las Vegas, county officials issued a moratorium on all “non-student related travel.” District Superintendent Robert Aloia spent $27,000 in 2008 on travel just on his own, reports The Record.
Contract Negotiations Update: A new school year is a harbinger of contract resolution – who wants to start classes with angry teachers and board members? Ringwood BOE will be announcing details of a new contract with the local teachers union. No details yet, but the 2008-2009 contract had a 4.85% raise. Mount Olive just approved a contract with district administrators for about 12% raise over the next 3 years, or 3.75% per year. Reports The Record,
Absent from the new agreement was a proposal to grant administrators up to $1,000 to attend night meetings. That provision was part of preliminary negotiations released at a school board meeting in June which included 3.5 percent pay increases and elicited outrage from parents who called for fiscal restraint in uncertain economic times.
Heavy Competition for Most Dysfunctional School Board of The Week:
Pequannock School Board, which just passed a new policy barring teachers from using cell phone. (Guess they’ll have to borrow them from the kids.) In fairness, it was a 5-4 vote, with some board members calling it an insult to teachers and a poor way to begin contract negotiations.
Vineland School Board, where at the monthly public meeting Board President Frank Giordano called Superintendent Charles Ottinger “disrespectful” and Ottinger sallied back by telling Giordano he “was acting like a dictator.”
Sparta School Board, where the former Board president violated the Code of Ethics by sending a letter to the papers on behalf of the board without alerting the board to the missive.
Clifton School Board, where Board President James Daley told Board member Norman Tahan at a public meeting that his behavior was “toxic” because Tahan has “verbally abused and threatened violence during facilities committee meetings.”
West Milford Board of Education, where Superintendent Bernice Colefield publicly expressed “frustration” with overly-enthusiastic board member John Aiello because she doesn’t have time to spend her days “answering questions” and fears a “micro-management scenario developing.”