Just saw the piece in the Sentinel here and seriously, you gotta be kidding me. 'The Edison Board of Education's concerns around overcrowding and funding have been front and center at recent meetings.'
First of all, this district has been in dire need to correct the overcrowding for a long-long time and this board has yet to put together a well thought-out, cohesive and practical plan for all the stakeholders to address the issues. All they do is piecemeal projects with ridiculously expensive capital projects and go around voter approval to fund them by using lease vs. purchase agreements. These lease vs. purchase agreements allow the board to incur debt for capital additions without voter approval.
Second, every time they want to go to the cash cow, aka..the taxpayer bottomless pit, to fund these overpriced things, they start of by complaining we don't get our fair share of funding from the state. That's a distraction and misdirection they hope you bite on. We've never gotten our fair share of state aid and most likely won't - and certainly not in time to fund their latest attempt to pick your pockets. So, blah..blah..blah to that bit of disingenuous rhetoric.
According to their last $234 million bloated 'Out-of-Control $pending pot of money they call a school budget, we the taxpayers, funded 90% of it. Think they care if the state gives them more money - they'll just get it from us like they always do.
Geez, the bids for the Woodbrook school expansion came in $3 million more than they expected. How can they possibly be off by that much?
And when it comes to these capital projects they often do without your approval, you should always take their numbers with a grain of salt. Take the James Monroe fiasco.
Forgetting for the moment that they didn't tell you about that extra $900k they had to pay because of the delay in opening, let's take a look at the cost they came up with to rebuild it - they came up with a total Cost of $28.1 to rebuild that school.
They then went ahead and got you to approve a bond for $18 million (Cost of $28.1m less $9.5 million in insurance proceeds). Turns out they got a settlement of $23.6 million and said they don't need the bond and dropped it. Now, you have to seriously ask yourself, if they could do it for $23.6 million, why did they say it would cost $28.1 million? Why the extra $5 million??
That's just one example, there are others but why bore you anymore. Moral of this story, question every dollar they want to $pend on capital projects and don't let them go behind your back to fund it.
So, before you start feeling sorry for the kids - make the adults over there on Mythomania Lane step up and do the right thing for the kids. And that starts with a board doing the job they're supposed to do and stop treating those who fund their lack of leadership and oversight with such disrespect.
Anyhoo, if there was ever a time when we need a new school board, it's now.
Update: Just saw this State Audit of School Aid - 2014 - 2016 here.