Repeal the NJ law that sends Colts Neck residents to Tinton Falls schools
Dear Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Assemblywoman Mary Angelini, Governor Chris Christie and members of the NJ State Legislature and Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders,
Taxpayers of the Tinton Falls School District continue to subsidize nearly the entire educational cost for Colts Neck Township residents domiciled at Naval Weapons Station Earle, amounting to at least $700,000 per year and millions of dollars from the outset.
This arrangement has gone on for a quarter-century and must end through legislative repeal of outdated state legislation that allows children domiciled in Colts Neck to continue to attend Tinton Falls School District.
Repeal is the only way to rectify this inequality for Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury Township taxpayers and hold Colts Neck School District accountable for providing a service for which it has been paid millions of dollars of federal impact aid since the late-1980s.
The financial expense to the Tinton Falls School District of continuing to educate Colts Neck residents is a significant encumbrance to serving the needs of children of the District's core constituents in the Borough of Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury Township, especially against New Jersey's 2% spending cap.
The education of Colts Neck residents living at NWS Earle also is increasingly difficult logistically. Space limitations in operating an extensive special education program leave Tinton Falls School District extremely thin on classrooms to meet state mandates on class size and configuration, and to the detriment of students, Tinton Falls continues to subdivide physical space in the face of crowding.
Meanwhile, Colts Neck School District is awash in federal funding (at least $7 million of "impact aid" since 2000) through the U.S. Department of Education even as enrollment declined by 13% between 2011 and 2013 and demographics portend steeper decline.
On account of its declining enrollment, Colts Neck School District is now exploring importing kids from select towns through school choice and other prospective programs (i.e. an equestrian education program) to boost enrollment, which is a downright insult to military service members stationed at NWS Earle, not to mention the 1,500+ children of Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury Township -- children whose educational interests remain an afterthought to their elected state representatives.
In signing this petition,I support theTinton Falls Board of Education resolution-- unanimously approved on Monday, September 22, 2014 --to end the Tinton Falls School District's affiliation with all school-aged children domiciled at Naval Weapons Station Earle or anywhere else within the physical boundaries of Colts Neck Township, and recommend the legislature repeal all sections of state law that continues to undermine the Tinton Falls School District.