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Fly continues to hear about Rumored BOE Personnel Cuts

In BOE, r, Ridegwood Schools on March 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Rumored BOE Personnel Cuts

It is being reported that BOE members have approved a plan to eliminate all of the District’s non-tenured teachers. Additionally, several administrative staff members at BOE HQ have reportedly already been let go.

Can anyone confirm these reports? Rumors are that the current budget gap significantly exceeds $1 million.

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  1. Here’s the party line (taken from the Executive Summary section of the BOE proposed budget):

    Currently, the budget stands at an increase of 1.35% over last year’s General Fund Budget. Revenues are also at an increase of 1.35%, based on a maximum increase of 4% on the local tax levy. The proposed budget is predicated that state aid remains the same in 09-10 as in 08-09. The main challenge faced by the administration and the Board has been to adjust the appropriations budget down to the 1.35% growth with a decrease in available fund balance, while labor contracts and certain costs such as utilities, benefits and special education increase at rates greater than 1.35%. In order to balance the budget at the 1.35%, the administration is recommending reductions in force that impact secretarial, teaching, administrative, and aide positions. Also, the administration is committed to taking a hard line towards the renewal of contracts for maintenance and custodial services, purchasing services, energy management services, and health benefits.

  2. well they are talking about laying off ground workers that work for the bord of ed.its all up in the air at this time.whare did all the money go.they get 77% of the town tax money.some thing is realy not right.

  3. try a gap of $2.9 million…..

  4. I can think of 4 people at Cottage Place who's job could be eliminated and the district would be the better for it.

    1.) Regina Botsford
    2.) Jessica Anspach
    3.) Daniel Ilaria
    4.) Steven Tichenor

    There, just like that without cutting one program or teacher I have cut over 1/2 million dollars from our budget.

    Let the super and his principals decide curriculum. It really isn't that hard to do. And let's face it, could they do any worse than Regina, Jessica and Dan?

    As for maintenance and custodial services under Mr. Tichenor's watch, well, his performance rivals the ineptitude of Regina & Company's reign over our curriculum.

    A volunteer parent committee could do a better job making sure our buildings and grounds were taken care of.

    Let's see, the Parks & Recs Dept. does our landscaping and fields. And the custodial services are contracted out to a private company. That only leaves maintenance. And we all know, that has been a disaster during Mr. Tichenor's tenure.

    Now, I am sure there are more places one could cut at Cottage Place. Maybe Mr. Angelo DeSimone, our business admin., has a few ideas. Do we really need a Public Information Officer? Shouldn't that be Mr. Fishbein's job as superintendent? Isn't he supposed to be the public face of our school administration, capable of interacting with the community.

    I guess, I could go on down the list and probably find the million bucks they need. But hey, they don't pay me for that.

  5. I just want to point out that Ridgewood has the 2nd highest school budget in Bergen County.

    Teaneck 80,247,017
    Ridgewood 76,350,533
    Hackensack 71,947,279
    Fair Lawn 70,835,281
    Garfield 68,140,371
    Paramus 68,155,089

    So as we go to vote in another 4% increase, keep that in mind.

  6. Median Salary of Administrative Personnnel – Ridgewood

    Median Salary – Our District – $129,766
    Median Salary – State – $111,311
    Years of Experience – Our District – 18
    Years of Experience – State – 22

    Can we come to the conclusion that in Ridgewood we are paying more for less experienced people?

  7. rumers,well,well.welcome to ridgewood.no one knows what the hell is going to happen to the workers on the bord of ed.I dont under stand they get most of the tax money.some one needs to talk very soon is madoff in town.

  8. I have not heard of this plan, and I am a non-tenured teacher. I do know of some who have been let go, but as far as I know, it isn’t an across the board move.

  9. I just want to know how much money has Regina spend at the Middle Schools when she introduced CMP2??? Are the teachers still being retrained? Maybe they can cut there and go back to the methodology that has worked-the teachers do not need to be retrained-Also I guess by the time kids make to the HS the math is again traditional, so at this point CMP2 is a waste of money easy to cut out.

  10. 7:23, please go and share your brillance (truly not being sarcastic) at the next BOE meeting. You’ve hit a nail on the head and it should be brought up at public comment for everyone to hear. Please, please, please

  11. We just have too many math administrators in this district. They are busy screwing up our curriculum. They are just inept and too left wing to make any credible decisions about math. Why can’t we just clean house?

    As for Fishbein being our public information officer — I agree. But we have a very formidable problem with that. Fishbein can’t spell and can’t speak articulately. If you ever listen closely to what he is saying, you will realize that he’s saying much about nothing. His PI is really a very expensive spell checker.

  12. Rumor has it that all the non-tenured secretaries will be cut as well as the non tenured teachers.

    “Reduction in force” means that less people are responsible for more work. So why are we paying a “consultant” $600 a day to help the Business Administrator? Is he not capable of doing his own job?? If he can’t stand the heat he should get out of the kitchen.

  13. The Cottage Pl administrator/s that caused the 2 plus mill deficit are the ones that should be let go.

  14. Hey, 2:53, Ridgewood has the 2nd highest budget in Bergen County because we are the largest district in bergen county you dope. Ridgewood has more students per capita than anyone else. What good is it to look at total budgets? Every one of the those districts you listed has FEWER students and — now pay attention because this is important — they ALL spend MORE PER STUDENT than Ridgewood. Look it up at the DOE website. Educate yourself! you can disagree with a lot, you can hate the fact that education costs a lot, but the facts is: our district is very efficient

  15. FYI:
    Cost Per Pupil from NJDOE:
    Teaneck $18,131
    Ridgewood $13,860
    Hackensack $14,817
    Fair Lawn $15,010
    Garfield $14,774
    Paramus $15,641

    Doesn’t look so bad now, does it? I say thank you to Cottage place

  16. 10:28
    You do know that those numbers are based on widely different variables. The only true per pupil cost leaves nothing out. It is the entire budget divided by all enrolled students. Newark, for instance is 23,000 per student; good luck finding that number at the NJDOE.

  17. I don’t get the cost per pupil.

    5,100 kids and a budget of 82 Million = 16,078 a kid…

  18. Median household income:
    Teaneck $92,401
    Ridgewood $128,648
    Hackensack $60,837
    Fair Lawn $88,977
    Garfield $52,734
    Paramus $94,887

    Parental expectations.
    Teaneck
    Ridgewood
    Hackensack . ????????
    Fair Lawn
    Garfield
    Paramus

  19. The numbers at the state site are relevant for comparison purposes. They may not be calculated the way you want to give a comprehensive total $ individually each includes the same items as per state doe requirements.

    I was responding to the person who listed total budgets in comparison — leaving out the important variable of size of district

  20. well for 1 thing 1:43, we have 5,600 students in Ridgewood (not 5100). So 82 million divided is $14642

  21. Let the super and his principals decide curriculum.

    That approach was taken in the late 1990s. It led to RPS having TERC in 2 of the K-5 schools, Everyday Math in 2 schools, and traditional math in the other 2 schools.

  22. The point is… if untenured teachers are cut, class sizes will go WAY up! We, as parents, need to make sure that the BOE knows that we will not accept this! Class sizes need to stay lower so our children can get the education they deserve…

  23. 6:36 PM,

    “Let the super and his principals decide curriculum… that’s who we got TERC…”

    You misunderstand. I did not say to let each principal decide independently but rather as a group, district wide, with the input of their faculties.

    After all, they are highly paid professional administrators. I mean really, they can surely handle this with all their M.Ed’s and what not degrees.

  24. If nontenured teachers are cut, I guess courses will also be cut from RHS?

  25. People are making the mistake of thinking the BOE has alternatives and they don’t. We have a huge budget deficit due to the continued increase in compensation, health care costs, deteriorating facilities, special education costs and the fact that the State of NJ has capped budget increases to 4% per year. 80+% of the budget is related to compensation for teachers, staff, etc…. You can only cut so much out of the other 20% and even doing that does not really have that much of an effect in total dollars because there really isn’t any one thing of size that can be cut. That leaves cutting staff as the one place where reductions can be made that will have a significant real dollar impact on the budget. We may not like it but it is probably going to be necessary.

    The entire country is being “resized” as leverage comes out of the system. People and businesses are being forced to recognize the difference between “wants” and “needs.” Education is not going to be an exception. Jobs are going to be lost, programs are going to be cut, and class sizes are going to grow, it is inevitable. I would think in the next year or so you will see a fairly dramatic reduction in the course offerings at RHS as the realization that we are running a HS not a Liberal Arts College takes hold and some of the specialized courses that have a handful of students at the most are eliminated or offered on a fee only basis. “Wants” are going to be reduced or eliminated and “needs” are going to be streamlined and continued.

    Real Estate values have shrunk and people are now much more aware of risk and they don’t like it. Saving rates are growing rapidly as people curtail their spending and they will be much more prudent in their spending habits going forward. They will be much more inquisitive on where their money is being spent and much more demanding that it be spent on things that truly matter. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully it will engage more people in the process and bring some new ideas to the table and it should bring us back to the core subjects and core needs for our kids. It will make us more aware and more appreciative of what our town and schools have to offer and the advantages our kids are exposed to. It will not come without pain and loss but the end result could be that we will be a more focused, more efficient, more relevant school district. The time for blame is past, we are all guilty of spending too much on things we really didn’t need and now it is time for us, the BOE, the Village of Ridgewood to pay. If we do it rationally and intelligently we can avoid real long term pain and come out on the other end with a better school system and a more attractive town.

  26. Most companies have eliminated up to 10% of their staff, frozen wages and cut bonuses from 30 to 50%. Why aren’t we doing the same in Ridgewood ? Cut 10% of all the staff starting with anyone that is not teaching, freeze all salaries over 50K, eliminate any spending around travel or other expenses, make EVERY public worker pay for 40% of their benefits like the rest of us and start acting like we are in a recession.

    If you really want to outdo yourselves figure out how to eliminate 10% of every budget after you make these changes. THE REST OF US ARE DOING THIS UNDER PRESSURE EVERYDAY AND FIGURING IT OUT!

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