Across the country, many politicians at the state and local level have been making catastrophic decisions impacting schools – all under the guise of “budget cutting” and often without any consideration to the harm they are inflicting on the students and communities they are supposed to serve. Latest case in point – Englewood, New Jersey, where the board of education is moving ahead with plans to outsource all school secretaries and teaching assistant to private companies.
On June 7, board members voted 8 – 0 to negotiate with two to private companies with the goal of outsourcing a total of 66 paraeducators and 24 secretaries. All this ostensibly to plug a $4 million shortfall, which, says Norman Danzig of the New Jersey Education Association, is hard to believe since the board submitted a balanced budget in March.
“The Board’s claim that there is a $4 million shortfall is unbelievable,” Danzig said. “Every year we hear about the district’s terrible finances, yet every year since 2005 they have finished the year with a surplus. How did they submit a balanced budget in March while knowing they would have a $4 million hole? They’ve never justified the $4 million.”
Or could it be another excuse to slowly drain the system of public employees, in which privatization has been a brutally effective tool. Englewood board members are considering awarding contracts to Mission One Educational Staffing Services for secretarial services and Delta-T Group North Jersey for paraprofessional services.
Read the complete article at NEAToday.org.