Our Fair Share: Sign Petition for School Funding Equity

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Dear Delran Stakeholders,

As you may be aware, the Delran Education Association and the Delran Board of Education, coupled with the Principals and Supervisors in the District recently collaborated on a position statement with respect to school funding.  That statement has spawned some initiatives being promoted by community members to bring the topic of school funding to light and, additionally, to allow the legislators that represent and work for you to ensure that your individual and collective voices are heard.

Recently, the parent group called Our Fair Share was formed and developed an online petition that takes only moments to sign.  It is attached below if you wish to make your opinion heard with respect to school funding.  I can assure you that your voices are being heard and your participation in this will allow for the message of equity to continue to be spread throughout the region and into Trenton.

https://www.change.org/p/chris-christie-nj-students-deserve-fair-school-funding?recruiter=530787020&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

Sincerely,

BBB Signature

Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Delran Attends the State Assembly Budget Committee Meeting

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Dear Stakeholders,

This morning the State Assembly Budget Committee convened to discuss education in New Jersey.  In large part this evolved in to a discussion about funding.  While my takeaways are below, you can also view the meeting as it evolved HERE as it was recorded on social media.

Key Takeaways:

  • The funding formula is in need of being addressed.  It simply requires too much new money (over $800 million) to address the needs as they have presented themselves.
  • Pitting neighbor against neighbor, as reinforced by several, is not a healthy climate  statewide.
  • The funding gaps are quite large.  View them HERE.
  • A truly equitable funding formula is difficult to attain and there is a question as to who should tackle this work, the executive branch or legislative branch.
    • The NJDOE suggested legislatively addressing the School Funding Reform Act; legislators, in turn, begged for guidance.
  • Disparities are glaring – for instance, there are approximately 360 districts funded over adequacy and an additional 40 over funded even though they have experienced enrollment decreases.
    • The tenor in the room was that those 400 schools offer areas of opportunities, however those opportunities require sacrifices to children in those districts.  A complex and difficult scenario.
  • There are significant issues to be addressed and it is far more complex that taking one component of SFRA away from districts.  The issues are very unique and require deep inspection.  The key here will be patience – but be patient understanding that we in Delran and elsewhere are influencing change in policy.  It’s happening right before our eyes and we should expect to be participants on some level.

My beliefs:

  • The voices of the residents from Delran and elsewhere who were present were heard simply from their presence alone.
    • The challenge will be for us to continue the conversation and keeping education funding relevant and in the news cycle 12 months of the year.
  • I expect to see some movement from the NJDOE with respect to funding for FY2018 (NOT for the coming school year) and am optimistic that process will be inclusive and include representatives from New Jersey Association of School Administrations and New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, in addition to district personnel.
  • A wave is born from a ripple; to date we have made our ripple.
    • First, our Board joined with the Delran Education Association and Delran Principals and Supervisors Association and issued a Joint Statement.
    • Second, we have connected with other districts (thus far: Maple Shade, Riverside, Burlington Township, Chesterfield, Red Bank, Bordentown, Freehold Township and Newton) to ensure that this message continues to be promoted
    • Third, today we witnessed the beginning phases of action and possible revision to the manner in which schools are funded.
    • There is much work to be done, but much momentum so far.  We seek to continue to develop the partnerships that have been developed thus far.

While today was helpful to see our legislators, particularly those from the 7th district, advocating for us, it underscored how massive and pressing this challenge is.  I believe there will be changes in the future and we will continue our advocacy for equitable distribution of aid.

Sincerely,

BBB Signature

Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

Funding Participants

Delran Residents Needed to Attend NJ Budget Hearings

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Dear Parents,

As you are aware, Delran schools have been chronically underfunded by the state for several years. (This affects all residents, not just those with children or grandchildren in the school system.)   We have sent over 400 letters to our legislators to demand our fair share of funding. Some Delran residents, along with residents of other suffering districts, will be attending a rally in Trenton tomorrow, April 20 to show their support for fair school funding. If you are able to join the effort and meet us at the statehouse tomorrow at 10:00 am, we can represent Delran together in this initiative. There will be no public speaking requirement. Just wear your Delran colors and help us send the message to Trenton that we want our fair share!
When:
Wednesday, April 20

10:00 am

Where:

125 W State St

Committee Room 11, 4th Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/OurFairShareNJ

Delran Residents Seek Action on School Funding

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Dear Delran Stakeholders,

I write you knowing that Delran Township Public Schools are extremely under adequacy in state aid, and that the current FY17 budget proposed by the New Jersey Department of Education has not comprehensively addressed this disparity.  I want to share with you a recent action that residents from Delran Township and central office administration initiated to address this problem, and to suggest a future action that can continue to build impact and exposure to the Delran Township Public Schools.

Glenn Kitley (Board of Education President) and Mike Piper (resident and father to three children in the district) testified before the Assembly Budget Committee on the impacts that the state budget formula creates for the district and taxpayers in Delran.  Our challenge in Delran is similar to those in other towns that are assertively making the impacts of the funding formula known to the legislators that were elected to support us.  

In true Delran fashion, the residents have spoken and have had their voices heard.  Over 300 letters were sent to legislators and those letters, specifically, have been referenced by legislators publicly with respect to the intensity of the funding challenges.  In short, there is a critical mass of concern in Delran and we need to continue to have our voices heard in an effort to keep the conversation active in the halls of Trenton and beyond.

 My reason in writing is to suggest a next step that you may choose to join.  Delran Township will be back at the Statehouse next Wednesday, as we have been for the past month, in brown and gold t-shirts, sitting in Committee Room 11, starting at 10am.  I will convey our attendance with the legislators who were elected to support us and, again, advocate for the school funding formula to be executed as intended when enacted into law in 2008.  It is my intention to declare, again, before the Commissioner the need to immediately resolve this disparity.

Groundswells from voters are things politicians pay attention to. Not only have we been able to create our groundswells in the past, but they have proven to be successful.  This time, however, we need the voices from the front lines; we need the residents of Delran to have their voices heard simply by attending the hearing on Wednesday at 10:00am.

Please consider attending on April 20, 2016 at 10:00am – RSVP HERE in order to assist local residents leading this committee plan and communicate with you prior to Wednesday.

Click HERE for directions to the Statehouse.

I sincerely appreciate your consideration in this endeavor and your support for the district and local taxpayers alike.

 

Sincerely,

BBB Signature

Brian Brotschul, Ed. D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

Kari McGann Appointed as Director of Curriculum

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Dear Delran School District Stakeholders,

This evening, at its public Work Session, the Delran Township Board of Education approved my recommendation of Mrs. Kari McGann to serve as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction effective July 1, 2016.

During the months of January, February and March the district engaged in a search to replace Mrs. Linda Gringeri, who has served as the Director of Curriculum for ten years following a successful term as the Principal of Delran Intermediate School.  During this search process the opportunity arose to consider a pool of 42 qualified candidates to serve as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

A profile for the successful candidate guided our entire search and allowed us to ensure that we are moving forward with a candidate that addresses the needs in the area of curriculum and instruction for the district in addition to someone who has experience in the areas in which the district seeks to grow.  On behalf of the Board of Education, I congratulate Mrs. McGann on joining the Delran Township Public Schools family.

Mrs. McGann is an educational leader with more than 20 years of experience in New Jersey schools.  Kari is a graduate of Troy State University in Troy, Alabama where she earned a M.A. in Management.  She attended The College of New Jersey earning her principals and supervisors certification in the Educational Leadership graduate program.  Kari’s B.A degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education was earned at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.

Kari began her teaching career in Escambia County Schools in Pensacola, Florida, where she taught kindergarten through third grade and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1996.  She moved to New Jersey after marrying her husband and worked with Montgomery Township Schools for over fifteen years as an elementary school teacher.  Kari was honored by Montgomery PTA with the Founders Day Award in 2008 for her dedication to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children at home, school, and the community.  

Kari continued her service with Montgomery Township Schools as the K-4 Language Arts and Social Studies supervisor. Most recently, she served for four years with the Readington Township School District as a Central Office Administrator and Supervisor of Humanities.

Kari has presented workshops at a variety of educational conferences, including the National Learning Forward Conference and multiple educational conferences with Rider University.  She has been published in the Hunterdon County News and was featured in a February 2016 news article highlighting her trip to China as a delegate for the College Board.   

As a school leader, Kari believes an educational leader should always stay connected to the classroom.  Over the years, she has taught and facilitated various workshops and classes to current and aspiring school leaders that focus on leadership, assessment, curriculum development, and literacy instruction.  

Being driven to invest in others in the field of education, Kari has facilitated teacher orientation programs with the College of New Jersey, led administration study groups, and presented to Rider University’s School of Education aspiring teachers to assist them with interview preparation and resume writing.

You can view Kari’s presentation to the Board of Education HERE.  Additionally, you can learn more about her professionally by following her on Twitter.

Kari and her husband are parents to four children and reside in Lawrence Township. 

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  Mrs. Kari McGann joins Delran Township Public Schools as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction on July 1, 2016.