I am responding to Jim Hague's article "State Funding to St. Peter's Prep way wrong" (Hoboken Reporter, Aug. 2, 2003).
I agree with Mr. Hague's sentiments regarding the unfairness of offering $250,000 of state funding to the private (and wealthy) school. It is natural for other local parochial schools that are struggling financially to start asking why they were left out. It is an unsustainable predicament.
The right thing would be for St. Peter's Prep to give the "gift" back (I won't hold my breath waiting). As a taxpayer who has a child in the Hoboken public school system, this deal feels like a slap in the face. What kind of message does this convey to parents considering putting their children in the public educational system? To me, it says that state legislators simply do not care about public school students.
And what compensation will taxpayers receive for this (inappropriate) state funding to a private school? According to Rich Hansen, St. Peter's Prep athletic director, "there will be a partnership... Taxpayers' kids will use this facility." Really? Only time will tell.
I want to thank Mr. Hague for writing this important article. State funding being funneled into private institutions at a time of economic uncertainty is confusing. But then again, perhaps it's not what you need, but who you know.