Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Middletown Cuts $2.1 Million From School Budget

Tax rate to rise $2.3 cents.

Scharfenberger: "There are going to be a lot of people complaining that we did not cut enough."

Rightfully so.

The Middletown Township Committee cut $2.1 million from the Board of Education budget last night, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.

These cuts were accomplished through a $800K savings in the health insurance appropriation that was recommended by the BoE and other administrative cuts. "...not one teacher...not one program" was cut, according to Deputy Mayor Tony Fiore.

Notably, there was also not one concession from the teachers union.

On April 23, Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger said a wage freeze by the teacher would save the taxpayers $3 million.

A $5.1 million budget cut, with not one teacher laid off or program cut, was possible and would have been appropriate.


Anonymous said...

You can't cut $5.9m when they only try to raise $3.9m. The cuts brought the level of tax raise to 1.9% which was less than the 2.5% proposal by the Governor. I think the TC did a very good job finding ways to cut administration without going so deep that it would effect teachers and classroom instruction.

Anonymous said...

"A $5.9 million budget cut, with not one teacher laid off or program cut, was possible."

Art- How would you have come up with an additional $5.9m cut without further teacher layoffs or program cuts? I'm curious to how you came up with this.

Art Gallagher said...

$2.9 plus $3 from the wage freeze that did not happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Art. Very disappointing but not unexpected behavior out of the MTEA and NJEA.

Anonymous said...

Im not a teacher but if I was Why would I agree to a wage cut that I am contractually entitled too?

Especially when you are in a place like middletown which is top heavy with administration. Administration should always be cut before Programs and you need teachers to run programs

By the way most large districts and regional districts are top heavy with administration proving that regionalization will not save money.

Anonymous said...

Lost in the shuffle of this is that the Middletown TC settled a contract with the police unions for a 0% increase for 2010 last night. Police are also giving back holiday time and agreed to making a contribution towards health coverage.

So if the police can take no raise for 2010 why can't the teachers???

James Hogan said...

Is Karen Bilbao still the school super? I recall reading a couple of years ago that she would be making ~$174,000/yr in 2008 as super with 4% raises each year through 2011. If my info is still correct and nothing has changed since I read this information then:
2008: $174,000
2009: $180,960
2010 (this year): $188,198

Considering the Gov, who is responsible for the entire state, adults and children, small businesses and giant corporations, interstate roadways down to your dead end street, only makes $175,000/yr, I have to wonder why a school super that is responsible for about 1/600th of the state's schools needs to make so much. Cutting this one salary doesn't close up millions of dollars, and I'm sure changing such a contract/salary would create the same kinds of headaches and non-sense lawsuits as changing a teacher's salary, but I'm with Anon from 8:11am, start at the top with administrators.

P.S. I'm not a Middletown resident and never was, Karen Bilbao might be the best super ever in the world and a really great and wonderful person, it doesn't change my opinion much.

Anonymous said...

Teachers should not be villified ... but should be crying "poor us" as well. Here are the AVERAGE teacher salaries for some of Middletown's elementary schools:
Nut Swamp $84K
Harmony: $79K
New Monmouth: $79K
Navasink: $78K
River Plaza: $75K
Village: $73K

I believe teachers should be compensated well. What is tough to swallow is when they think they don't make enough or are being exploited.
Not a bad salary for a job where you work less than 10 months out of the year and get free family medical.
Take the wage freeze for the year and contribute a measley 1.5% to your cadillac medical benefits (remember that us taxpayers will be paying for them for the rest of your LIFE).

Mark said...

MT, wake up. How many vice principals do we have? Last Time I was at MHSN, I saw VP offices running down the hall. This is ridiculous and a major source of waste. One Principle, one vice principal. The poor babies will have to do what goes on in the private sector. Come in earlier and stay later, if you don't like it hit the road. Hundreds will line up to take your place.

Anonymous said...


For the record your and the APP's headline is wrong. $2.9M was not cut from the school budget. the amount cut was $2.09M a differnce of nearly $800K between the two.

If you read the article fully and did not cherry pick info from it to suit your bias, you would have seen it there in black and white.

a list of cuts along with the total amount was also posted on the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

The Governor is an elected official doing the job not for a salary but as a public service. Who by the way when he leaves office will be able to make a fortune off the fact that he used to be governor.

School superintendents are doing a job that they should be fairly compensated for. The free market dictates what salaries should be. The less administrators their are the more you have to pay to attract a good one. When their salary and benefits are compared to salary and benefits of people running corporations that have the same numbers of employees and the same size budget then most of them appear fairly compensated.

Quite frankly many of the governors we have had could probably not do a school administrators job.

No I am not an adminstrator but I did once serve on a BOE and was involved in a superintendent search.

James Hogan said...

You *could* be correct, with the one exception that serves as the false premise for your assertion being that "public" schools are not the "free market".

If a private school wanted to raise the money to pay a person $180,000+ to be the super of said private school, then I agree with you, free market rules. In this case, the public demands that the job, along with other public school administrator jobs, pay less and the job is to serve the public; make it happen.

Again, not a M'town resident, teacher, admin, BOE member past or present, etc.

Anonymous said...

IF you want to see any teacher or public employee of administrators salary just go to app.com and look for a link that says datauniverse or you can search for or google data universe and you can see EXACT salaries of all public employees and then realize why our taxes are so high in Monmouth County or Club Monmouth.