We said we’d change the school board, and we did. In the most heated school board contest in living memory, we elected Daniel Dart, an outright critic of poorly planned spending. The Board of Education also heard the voice of the community in the close vote, with only a 4 percent difference between the highest and the lowest votes. We’ve changed the conversation. It’s now OK for all of us, even school board members, to ask hard questions, protest gag rules, and refuse to rubber-stamp take-it-or-leave-it plans. Congratulations to the community!
Now let’s tell the whole truth: the $27 million bond for “critical fixes” includes millions for fencing, wrestling, elevators, concessions, backboards, acoustics, parking, dugouts, water fountains — all of them listed by school at www.princetonk12.org/district/about_us/facilities_referendum/projects.
PPS is gaming the democratic system. Every week it e-mails school families to support a publicly funded special election on December 11, when everyone else is least alert or likely to vote. No reminders to taxpayers, who must pay the $27 million, pay off existing debt, anticipate annual increases that now exceed the 2 percent cap, and pay the cost of the election.
Remember, the BoE still plans to ask for many more millions next Christmas.
What alternatives get researched, and how will the PPS operating budget pay to sustain the methods selected? What steps has the BoE taken to meet the promise of community input, or to improve communication with the approximately 80 percent of voters who don’t have children in school?
Do not fall for the BoE’s “compromise.” Don’t wait for December 11. Use a mail-in ballot now to vote “no” before the holiday rush. If you don’t get one automatically, or you can’t be here to vote in December, you can download one at www.nj.gov/state/elections/assets/pdf/forms-vote-by-mail/vote-mail-ballot-mercer-english.pdf.
— Mary Clurman, Harris Road