According to BOE member Sheila Brogan, last week's meeting in Leonia with the Commissioner of Education was an interesting meeting. (I couldn't attend due to a family commitment.) The commissioner spoke about the new school funding formula and the court challenge, components of the high school redesign program, expansion of preschool programs for low income children, the new bill that allows districts to defer payments to the pension fund and cuts in state aid payments for the current year, the 2009-10 budget, the role of the county superintendent, and much more. Board member Michele Lenhard and Superintendent Dan Fishbein also attended, along with 12 Ridgewood parents, many of whom walked away with more questions than answers about the impact of decisions made in Trenton on us and our budget.
As a follow up to that meeting with the commissioner, Dr. Fishbein suggested two meetings be scheduled for interested parents to talk with him about the state issues and their impact on the school district and our budget. He will meet with interested folks on Monday, March 23 at 1 pm and on Thursday, March 26 at 7 PM. Both meetings will take place at the Ed Center, on the 3rd floor.
Understanding the big picture and the state's role in decisions we make on a local level might help promote more advocacy on educational issues and a better understanding of the challenges we face crafting our school budget. If you'd like to learn more, please attend one of this week's conversations with Dr. Fishbein.
Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org