Kids First’s achievements
Apr 18, 2010 | 1763 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to highlight the incredible progress and reform made by the Kids First majority on the board: Kids First promised to be fiscally responsible. Not provide tax relief; No Sunshine laws were ever broken. We always abide by the advice of legal counsel and the advice of the NJSBA; The board president did not conduct confidential personnel negotiations single handedly; legal counsel was involved at each step.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Eliminated positions totaling more than $1 Million;

Uncovered the misappropriation of $1.6 Million; Recovered uncollected funds totaling $500,000;

Eliminated food deficit totaling over $300,000; Cut $68,000.00 from athletic supplies;

Reduction of two principal positions and one vice principal position.

DECREASED THE BUDGET: Budget FY 2010-11 is $57,882,147 vs. 2009-10 which is $62,013,193; a decrease of $4,131,046 or 7 per cent, while keeping the tax levy flat and not accepting the additional 4 per cent in municipal taxes allowed by law.

ADDRESSED NON RESIDENT STUDENTS: Implementation of new residency procedures for next year along with ongoing investigations of out-of-district students. A planned district re-registration to ensure our school dollars go to Hoboken residents.

LOWERED THE PER PUPIL COST: Lowered the cost per pupil by $1,791 or 8 per cent to $20,054 below last year’s pp cost of $21,845 per pupil. Compared to $24,471 per pupil two years ago, a decrease of $4,417 per pupil or an 18 per cent decrease.

NEGOTIATED THE CUSTODIAN’S CONTRACT: Includes the first contribution to health benefits by a Hudson county municipal union. A contract praised by Republican Educational Commissioner Brett Schundler who extended his praise to the Board and the union.

FULLY SUPPORTS THEATRE PROGRAM: Continued commitment to our award winning Theatre Arts department: expanded the number of productions this year to three (including the addition of a middle school production).

EXPANDED THE SCHOOL BAND: Expanded the marching band to 60+ students in the middle and high school.

INTRODUCING ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES: Advanced Placement (AP) is a tremendous cost savings while reaching more of our students. Students can transfer AP credits toward college courses.

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH REQUIREMENTS: State required superintendent certificate. Proven success as a change agent in a public school context with an understanding and passion for public education. The ideal candidate would be a sitting superintendent or asst. superintendent who is a strong leader yet collaborative, energetic, innovative and creative while showing an aptitude for conflict resolution, negotiations and a real desire to involve the entire community in the health and well being of the public schools.

The reality is that Kids First has been getting real results with its reforms: helping kids succeed, eliminating waste, restoring accountability and reducing spending while maintaining the quality of education.

Vote Kids First and let us continue the progress: Rose Marie Markle, Irene Sobolov, Leon Gold and Jean Marie Mitchell.

Rose Marie Markle

BOE President and Candidate

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