State mandated budget caps have forced the Long Hill Twp. school district to potentially cut many important programs. Under consideration for elimination are: Reading Recovery, 2.5 classroom teachers @ Millington School, all band and chorus programs at Cental School, 5th grade band, .5 Basic Skills teachers @Central School, along with several other programs and positions. Also being considered is the elimination of courtesy bussing which would save the district $25,000. per route.(Bussing currently costs the district approximatly $1,000,000 each year) This petition serves to alert the Board of Education that the residents of Long Hill Twp. feel that courtesy bussing must be the first thing to go in order to preserve the educational and academic programs slated to be cut.
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Denise Thompson, Canada7 years ago Comments: Courtesy bussing is certainly a niceity, but a waste when eliminating major school program funds to have it! Please seriously consider eliminating courtesy bussing & place some crossing guards at major intersections so kids can walk down the hills to Millington and Central! Thank you!
Mike Smargissi - do not support, United States7 years ago Comments: UNTIL I hear a safety plan and a full cost benefit analysts and these plans are presented in full I can not support it. When I first heard this I supported ending courtesy busing but then I realized there are numerous implications. To be frank no one should support this until we hear all the details. Our number one priority needs to be the safety of our children and then a diligent cost analysts. Thus far we have neither a safety plan or a cost study! The 1 million bussing number is a half truth. Yes that is the total BUT we spend almost 400K on special needs busing and a little over 500K on "in twp" bussing. Thus I have been informed you should only look at the 500K number for this discussion and this number will not go to zero as some students live beyond the 2 mile limit so there will be some busing costs. First, elimination of courtesy busing is not a zero sum gain. There are many implications that must be discussed and considered. How much will it cost the township to create a safe "avenue" to get children to school. How will students cross and walk on Long Hill and Valley Road Traffic lights cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and sidewalks will easily run hundreds of thousands. There are also crossing guards. The township will have to pay for this so as tax payers when will the "payoff happen". Are we simply shifting cost from the school to the twp Would the township be better off giving the schools some money for busing "dangerous routs" to eliminate these expenses Have we discussed that maybe we don't want small children walking down Valley and Long Hill Road at all My children would have to walk from Millington down Valley to Central School. That is clearly not safe. Today I could not support children ever walking down Valley and Long Hill Road specifically for extended distances and given the current conditions of these roads. Also this does not solve the long-term "revenue" and cost problem the school faces. Lets assume we save 20% of the $500K so $100K (I have not heard any number yet). We keep some teachers and some programs but what happens in year two, threee and beyone when the overall "costs" associated with these programs and the school continue to rise faster than the cap Is this a long-term solution or just a one or two year Band-Aid Further this decision has implications to the Township Committee, Police and Planning Board. I would respectfully request that the School Board conduct public meetings with all these stakeholders to discuss the impact of eliminating courtesy busing. We simply need more facts and need to see the plan before we can make a decision.
Janice Lettieri, United States7 years ago Comments: Please please consider eliminating courtesy bussing BEFORE touching the 5th grade band and the music programs at Central School. These programs are so important!
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