Thursday, May 27, 2010

Christie Cancels Connors School Rehab Funding - Future Uncertain

Democratic Assemblyman and former 4thWard Councilman At-Large Ruben Ramos is appealing to restore the funding that Governor took away from the Connors Restoration Project on Tuesday, May 25th. In a letter to the Governor, Ramos says Connors is in need of repair and that the school is need of upgrades. The plan was intended to bring Connors into the 21st Century with technology, smart learning classrooms, as well as structural repairs.

Governor Christie, who was in Hoboken last week to discuss his plan to cut salaries, benefits and pensions of municipal workers, teachers, and first responders, rejected all facilities funding for areas once considered to be "Abbott" districts (and largely democratic strong holds). However, the Christie administrations' SDA announced state grant funding for 142 Schools Facilities Projects in 59 districts. These are from largely suburban districts from around the state who supported Christie in the Governor election. Hoboken was left off the list despite the interim superintendent's repeated declaration that the money was coming.

On Monday the NJSDA released information regarding 500 MILLION in school facilities funding to 59 school districts. North Bergen (a non-Abbott district) received $3 million in grants. Secaucus, the only other Hudson district to receive funding, got 28 thousand. NO ABBOTT DISTRICT received any grant money from the 37 million distributed. The needs of poor children across the state including those at Connors school were put on the back burner on the very same day that the Schools Development Authority was announcing grants to schools in wealthier communities.

This raises some interesting issues around the Hoboken school district. For instance:

1) Will the Demarest Alternative School still move into Hoboken High School?
2) Will Hoboken Charter still need to move from Demarest School?
3) Will the 8th Grades still be placed in Hoboken High School for the 2010-2011 school year?
4) Will this "non move" have a net positive or negative financial impact on the district?
5) Will the district need more or less administrators for the upcoming school year?