I am seeing signs in Monroe that the Monroe Township Education Association (MTEA) has not reached an agreement on a new three-year contract with our Board of Education. The teachers are entitled to raises but in a district that is very, very underfunded from the state, with residents young and old being taxed out of their homes, where does the additional money come from?
Now, the excuse of affordable housing by the State Legislature and by the big developers has led to the overcrowding of our school district. Last year, our district was 1,000 students over capacity and growing each year, creating a need for two new schools and the expansion of our six-year-old high school.
As a former school board member, more than six years ago I asked leadership of the MTEA to get us help and support from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the most powerful union in New Jersey, to no avail. We tried to get help from Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblymen Dan Benson and Wayne DeAngelo and they could not do anything to help us get our fair share in state education funding.
Does Monroe have to do what Lakewood did, by announcing they would lay off 118 teachers? Then the state gave them an additional $11 million to save the jobs.
What does it take to wake up the NJEA to help their members in Monroe, as well as proper funding from the state, to greatly lower our property taxes?