With school starting just around the corner, our teachers, secretaries and nurses are entering their fifth year without a contract. Since the May 29 board meeting, we have lost approximately
38 board of Ed employees. Most of them are experienced teachers. If this mass exodus does not stop soon, who will be left to teach our children?
Here are some facts you may not know about our teachers, secretaries and nurses:
1. They are making less in each paycheck than they were 5 years ago due to an increase in tax and health insurance deductions.
2. They purchase supplies not only for their classrooms and offices but some even purchase supplies for students who are less fortunate.
3. Even though teachers are only in the classroom six hours a day, many more hours are put into grading, planning and newly required reports.
4. A teacher who is newly hired is making approximately $1,000.00 less than a teacher with 15 years experience in our school system.
5. Despite these harsh conditions, these teachers, secretaries and nurses have still put the needs of our children first.
Until we got involved with the PTC of our school, we had no idea of how the
Board of Ed worked or how our schools operated. We have attended board meetings for the last 3 1/2 years and have heard the same rhetoric, "We have no money." Somehow, they found money to build a school within a school. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, Bayonne High School now has an Academy of Fine Arts. Many frivolous things have been purchased and many man hours and money, that should have been spread throughout the school district, were dedicated to building this Academy. When in all actuality, there are 11 grammar schools and the rest of Bayonne High School that are in dire need of repairs. Necessary and know repairs, such as ceilings falling down in classrooms due to much needed repairs on roofs, were put on hold for the past two years to tend to the needs of the few.
For the homeowners and renters a large portion of your hard earned money supports the school system here in Bayonne. Homeowners take the time to look over your tax bill and see the amount of money that goes towards education. It is a significant portion of your taxes. You need to be aware of how this money, your money, is being spent. You work too hard for it not to know.
We want to take this opportunity to tell all parents, taxpayers, and citizens of Bayonne to attend the next Board of Ed meeting on Thursday, August 14th. It is held in the Bayonne High School Auditorium @7pm. The only way things are going to change is if people become aware of what is happening within our school system. We have lost enough good teachers because of what is happening here in Bayonne. They are leaving our district for more money and the respect they deserve. Parents, we are our children’s only advocate. We need to fight for what is best for them, which is a high quality education.
Together we can make a difference.