Among other business at last night's Board of Education meeting, the BOE voted to NOT participate in the state of New Jersey's application for Federal Race to the Top education funds. Assistant Superintendent Regina Botsford explained how it is difficult to predict how much money could possibly come to Ridgewood, but that any grant amount would be based on the total number of districts participating and the total funds from Washington. Further, the grants would be tied to the amount of Title I funds the district most recently received (Ridgewood's Title I total was $160,000) and also the district's Title ARRA allocation (which for Ridgewood was ZERO). Thus, it appears that Ridgewood would receive very little funding under the Race to the Top -- but we would be expected to implement the state initiatives (many of which we are already addressing). We would incur additional costs -- and no big surprise that we're hesitant to take on more costs right now. We did discuss the district's obligation -- to both New Jersey education in general and our own students. Personally, I feel our first obligation is to our own students -- fiscally and educationally. For our students, participating in the Race to the Top would be fiscally irresponsible and educationally marginal.
Anyway, other news from last night's meeting:
Our bonding attorneys and financial advisors discussed options for issuing the referendum bonds. We'll finalize the bond issue at the February 22 meeting, and at that time we'll announce the exact date for the issue. You can let your broker know, in case you're interested in purchasing bonds. (Many community members have expressed interest.)
We approved the first work on referendum projects, authorizing M. Disko Associates to provide professional engineering services for the athletic field projects at Ridgewood High School, Stevens Field, and the all-weather track at Benjamin Franklin Middle School.
The DEP will be holding a hearing here in Ridgewood for public comment on the fields projects -- date to be determined, but it will be soon. (I'll announce the date/time here.)
The middle school principals gave a report on the new schedule implemented this year (overall it's great) and discussed some revisions for 10/11 (eliminating the A/B portion of the schedule).
After having met earlier in Executive Session to discuss the matter, the Board approved a resolution to suspend three RHS students until June 30, 2010, based on the superintendent's recomendation.
And...applications are currently available for the Board of Education election in April. Two seats will be open. Application petitions are due at the Ed Center by March 1. The election will be April 20. Come join us!
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