Fishbein Reveals a $500K Gap in Preliminary BOE Budget

In public education, teachers pay, teachers union on February 25, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Dr. Daniel Fishbein, Superintendent of Schools, and Angelo DeSimone, Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented an update on the 2009-2010 budget.

The district administration has looked at all areas of the budget.

Negotiators for the Board and the three collective bargaining units met to discuss the possibility of changes to contracts.

While all three groups were able to reach Memoranda of Agreements with the BOE, only the administrators were able to ratify the Memorandum of Agreement calling for a 1% reduction in the cost of contract (which later in the meeting, the Board voted to accept).

There is still a nearly $500k gap in the draft budget, which the cabinet is working hard to close.

The deadline for submitting the budget to the County Superintendent’s office is March 18.


  1. Cut out the teachers assistants / teachers aides.
    Problem solved.

  2. The solution—- cut the crap! I mean cut the math!!!!! ( one and the same)
    At 90K a grade level– you do math–I guarantee this isn’t fuzzy.

  3. 4:29- I beleive that the ones that are there are mandated by the good ole No Child Left Behind law, or individual student IEPs for special ed cases Not 100% sure

  4. well fish been you make to much money give some back.

  5. Minus four grade administrators at over $125K/year. Problem solved.

  6. 6:58pm – I believe many of the “special ed.” aides are unnecessary/misclassified and are used to address large class sizes and high student:teacher ratios. Most function as classroom aides, not special ed aides.

    I say this only because my daughter is assigned an aide and year after year, despite my protests, she is assigned a shared aide who does very little for her or the other classified students because they don’t require support.

    With that said, I think the presence of an aide in the classroom is invaluable. It lets the teacher focus on teaching while the aide focuses on logistics and anything else that creeps up in a classroom.

    For what they are paid, they are a bargain (in general — we had one really disruptive one). And the good ones; they are invaluable.

  7. 6:58 PM – Are the Ridgewood schools district receiving NCLB Title I funds? and the assistants are mandated?

    No Child Left Behind requires all public schools administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students. Schools that receive Title I funding must make Adequate Yearly Progress in test scores .

    If a Title I school fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress, it is put on a list of “failing schools” published in the local paper and parents are given the option to transfer to another school. Its Title I is cut and it must provide special tutoring for its students.

  8. 7:43- who would do the work that the GA’s do? I am being serious. I have kids at the HS and the GA’s perform many duties- following up on absences, disciplinary issues and much much more

    Maybe they could pare it down to 2, and each can handle 2 grades? I don’t know, but I don’t think that they can be eliminated altogether

  9. No child left behind has come to mean No Administrator Left Behind.

  10. you dont have the money,come on something is very worg,

  11. “Teacher’s assistants/aides are an invaluable asset to at least one third of the students in each class…The teachers tend to teach to the top while the aides bring everyone else along without holding the high achievers back.”

    You have made the arguement wouldn’t need the aide if you tracked the classes.

  12. The items 10:13PM listed should be done by teachers or grade administrators, not aides. The problem is that aide jobs have been “created” taking tasks from teachers and guidance. Class size is very low in Ridgewood, compared to years ago, so why can’t a teacher handle twenty kids?

    In my daughters class the aide actually checks the homework. That the teachers job, not the aides.

  13. 2:25 – a few years ago 3rd grade classes at Somerville had 25 students in each class. That’s alot of kids if you expect your teacher to do a quality job. I’m more than happy to have the aide check homework in most instances in elementary school and let the teacher teach.

    BTW – most of the aides we have had have been certified teachers.

  14. Why can’t the teacher teach and check homework?

    Checking homework gives the teacher insight into whether or not a child understands the material taught. To pass that off to an aide is plain lazy.

  15. Boy have times changed over the years in public schools.
    Class sizes used to be 30-35 pupils to one teacher.
    Teachers always checked their own class homework, and they brought it home to check.
    Students graduated, went on for their BA, BS, degrees, and entered the business world or other professions.

    Today the demand is on for 10 pupils to 1 teacher or aide.
    The ratio of students per teaching faculty and education support personnel, breakdown for each school is shown on the BOE web as:

    ranges: 11.2 students to 1 teacher/support personnel
    to range 15.7 student to 1 teacher/personnel (higher grade levels).
    (Glen 6.3 pupils to 1 teacher/personnel) No doubt, the special needs is more challenging and should/do require having more ratio coverage.

    Teachers as they did in the past, should take on the responsibility of the whole class. A successful well qualified teacher should be able to address all of their classes students individual learning levels. If not, the board needs to address that with each teacher. Mostly all of Ridgewood teachers have their MA. The initiative to attain a masters degree was suggested a few years ago by the board, and the reward was an increased salary level. Yes, Ridgewood receives federal funds $166,758. Title I – No child left behind. If a teacher is tracked to be unsuccessful with students grades under the NCLB, the new administration in Washington will get rid of them and replace with who’ll be qualified and successful with students.

    It is a stark comparison from when teachers salaries were almost a decent living wage, and were sweetened with all the benefits, free health coverage, 2-3 summer months off, pension entitlements, lifetime insurance benefits, and union guaranteed pay raises year after year, just to get those good teachers to enter the scholastic field.

    Today, those salaries earned are more than a comfortable living wage averaging $70,000 – $100,000. The school budget costs are ever increasing, and it is 63% of your property tax far more than municipal, county, local taxes. At a time when everything across the country has reached their ‘bubbles’, inflated property assessments with the housing markets and the economic crisis, it is long overdue that the school budgets have reached their ‘bubble’. The taxpayers of Ridgewood cannot keep paying those increased taxes on these increased assessments. Cuts need to be made.

    The BOE budget is short.No wonder?

  16. Aides do not make the thousands you think they do. In Ridgewood the aides make about 16,000 a year and no benefits. Aides are invaluable.

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