RIDGEFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS SECOND QUESTION
I write today regarding our public school district’s Second Question that will go before you for vote on this coming Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 2:00 to 8:00 PM. I take this opportunity to offer you the following for consideration:
Our Past Financial Failure
- For far too many years, the Ridgefield Board of Education presented school budgets that yielded zero increases during times when most other districts were passing budgets that were well above 2 percent.
- For many years, Ridgefield Public Schools mixed funds between its regular budget and Learning Center budget, resulting in mandatory multi-million dollar refunds to sending districts.
- The State of New Jersey cut public education funding considerably and never restored most of it, not even through its health benefits employee contribution plan.
- As a result of the abovementioned and as per the State of NJ, our district has operated at an average deficit of $1.2 million and has sustained significant personnel and program cuts during times when other public school districts have been restoring personnel and building programs.
- Our schools operate within state-imposed budget caps (this includes our administrative spending).
- We have reconciled all licensure and qualification issues among administrators and faculty.
- In recent years, we have placed student achievement, health, and safety at the center of all we do.
- Within our means, we have implemented progressive programs that serve students better than ever.
- We have a multi-year strategic plan and a detailed budget that clearly presents every aspect of Second Question funding. There is no fluff in this plan, only essentials.
- We can hire the counselors, media specialists, and subject area teachers and provide programs and resources that other districts now provide. We can ensure that students thrive in the world.
- We can improve one of the primary drivers of home value—the local public education system.
- In short, we can transform our public schools into places to which all students run.
Frank Romano, III, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools