Brigantine Schools Closer to Merging

A school consolidation report is due later this year. A growing number of residents see that the two Brigantine Schools; Elementary & Middle, need to have certain positions & resources combined or removed. Enrollment #’s have now dropped below 700, making the duplicative positions and support staff positions unnecessary.

Noting that the Mayor has substantial influence on school funding issues like these., Councilman Kern said: ‘too much administration”. As the previous, as well as the current auditor has said: the only way to reduce budget…is to reduce Full time staffing & starting salaries.

To the editor from The Brigantine Taxpayers Association:

We write to recommend the consolidation of the Brigantine school district’s two elementary schools into one such school within the same building. We believe that consolidation is warranted for the following reasons.

  1. A major part, 32 percent, of our property taxes goes to support the school district. As taxpayers expect the City government to reduce the cost of municipal government and the amount needed in property taxes to support that government, they expect the same of the school district and its board. And today, it’s also necessary to consider that both are operating in the context of a weak economy and the continuing harmful effect of Sandy.
  2. Even without the above circumstances, the district’s numbers justify consolidation. The school population continues to decline and no longer necessitates two separate schools with two administrative staffs.

We urge the board to consider consolidation and to take the necessary steps to accomplish it. Excessive administration is a waste of taxpayers’ money and serves no purpose.

Anne H. Phillips (This letter was sent to the Brigantine Board of Education)

To the editor from Maryann Kozack:

While everyone has been watching the televised budget debate playing out at City Council meetings, is anyone paying attention to the Brigantine school budget?

At a special Council meeting, the mayor clearly stated that besides an increase in our municipal tax, he expected an increase in our school taxes as well. Any increase in school taxes will be on top of the 7 percent municipal tax increase directive given to the manager at that same meeting. Then just wait until you add in the county tax increase. Does everyone on this island have their hand in my pocket?

The city is raising our municipal tax, and now the North School wants to add yet another tax increase for a school system that is overloaded with administrative positions? I say enough is enough.

Our school population has plummeted to approximately 740 students. The proposed school budget continues to include six-figure salaries for a superintendent, two principals, a business administrator and a curriculum coordinator – the same amount of administrators we had when our school population was 1,200 students. It is past time for the School Board to change this administrative cost burden.

The Brigantine School system needs to take their hand out of my wallet. My wallet is not a bottomless pit, nor a source for unnecessary City salaries. The public cannot and should not be tolerating this.

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2 thoughts on “Brigantine Schools Closer to Merging”

  1. This is long overdue. We need cuts in the police and fire departments and department of public works. What makes the largest chunk of our tax dollars exempt from scrutiny?

    My father was a high school principal and mother a school nurse so I’m not prone to criticizing our educators. But do we really need a superintendent of schools for a K thru 8 ?

    Isn’t this what the principal and vice principal should be responsible for? Look at the number of teachers for a dwindling student population. Look at the salary structure for some of the newer faculty.

    I’m sure teachers would welcome the opportunity to teach at a shore community. No need to be enticed with some of the salaries the city is paying.

    Nothing you can do about tenure. But when some of these teachers retire, maybe we should consider consolidating classrooms and considering the shrinking enrollment.

    Just a thought…

  2. Has anyone done the research on other districts in New Jersey that have a low enrollment just like Brigabtibe? There are .districts that have a combined position of superintendent/ salary. Other districts also have elementary supervisors who basically do the work of an assistant principal, but do not command the higher administrative salary. I retired from an educational career, serving as a teacher, reading specialist and supervisor,. I have two daughters who are currently teachers in New I am very much pro education, but the situation in Brigantine is a total waste of the tax dollar. I am a second homeowner in Brigantine, and the taxes are just as high as my primary home, where there are four schools and 2700 students in pre K to 12th grade. Go back to the drawing board !

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