Where does one start in a reply to this ridiculously simplistic attempt to blame teachers and teacher salaries for the budget crisis now facing Ridgewood.
Maybe $70 to $100K was an exhorbitant salary back in the day, but it’s not today. Benefits aren’t “free”, they’re part of an overall compensation figure. 2-3 months off in the summer? Which 2-3 months are they? School ends the last week of June and for some teachers and coaches starts on August 15. Raises year-after-year? Last time I checked, a two or three percent raise doesn’t even keep track with inflation in a robust economy.
We can’t place the burden of solving this budget crisis entirely on the backs of teachers. Reforms in some areas? Yeah, we need them, particularly when it’s impossible to get rid of teachers who don’t perform their duties well enough to stay here. Tenure rules need to be scrapped and the better teachers know this is a necessity.
Ridgewood’s schools, unfortunately, have outgrown Ridgewood. We are a sending district for the county for special needs students and it costs Ridgewood taxpayers a boatload. We are required to implement unfunded state mandates developed by bureaucrats who wouldn’t recognize a good idea if it bit them on the nose. Course creep, where we provide hundreds of disciplines in areas of interests for a disproportionately small number of students, needs to be examined. Do we really need to teach specific dialects of langages at RHS?
In the meantime, the physical plant is an unmitigated disaster district-wide, our school athletic fields are an embarassment and the high school doesn’t have a performing arts facility large enough for all parents to see their kids perform.
There are lots of issues here. The teachers are a relatively small one. Certainly class size is even smaller that that.