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: lauriegood@mac.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Get Referendum Facts Tonight: Q&A and School Tours

I hope we'll get a decent turnout tonight at the Community Meeting at George Washington Middle School auditorium. The session begins at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation by Superintendent Dan Fishbein followed by questions-and-answers -- anything you want to know, we'll answer! This is a chance for everyone in the community, parents, non-parents, senior citizens, all registered voters, to get the facts, see plans, clarify rumors, etc.

Prior to tonight's meeting at GW, everyone has a chance to tour Willard Elementary School, Travell Elementary School, Hawes Elementary School, GW Middle School and Ridgewood High School. Principals and other staff will give a first-hand look at some of the conditions in need of renovation and expansion. Tours will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Hope to see you tonight!
(And don't forget to VOTE on Dec. 8!)


Anonymous said...

I support the referendum,but I am concerned that the State will renege on its commitment to provide financing that Ridgewood is counting on to accomplish all that is necessary.

Do you know if the low interest financing promised is in jeopardy?

Laurie said...

We have been told that the funding is not in jeopardy, although as I'm sure you know anything's possible in New Jersey!

The main reason I feel confident is because the funding for these grants is not simply a good idea that the legislature funded -- and which could be taken away to help balance the budget. This funding is the result of a lawsuit (or lawsuits) and court decisions for the former Abbott districts. (Regular districts like Ridgewood benefit as an add-on, but the decisions were primarily for the Abbott districts.) The state must pay for this construction because the court said so -- no matter who is sitting in the governor's chair. The assumption is that the state would not renege on its obligation because it would open itself up to further legal action/penalties.

Also, the funding for these grants does not come directly from the state's operating budget, but rather from School Facilities Construction Bonds issued by the state Economic Development Authority.

You can read more about the set-up of the school construction program, history, funding, etc., at the website for the Schools Development Authority (which administers the grants): http://www.njsda.gov/GI/FAQ.html

Anonymous said...

So I hear the tours of the school buildings to build support for the bond was a crashing failure. How many people showed at RHS...

Laurie said...

I would not call the tours a "failure" but definitely did not bring out a lot of people. I think there were three people at RHS. We tried...we made the opportunity available...we invited people...I'm not sure what it means that people didn't show up. Busy lives? Lack of interest? Already heard enough about the referendum? Already made up their minds?

Did you take a tour? If not, what was the reason? Just curious.