Cherry Hill School District continues to receive a minimum amount of money from the state

There’s something brewing within the Cherry Hill School District that is angering folks, and it is much worse than the contract negotiations.

On June 10, a committee for Fair State funding of the Cherry Hill School District formed by Megan Zeigler, Laurie Deitch, Karen Missler and Larry Wang, partook in a closed-door meeting with Public Information Officer, Barbara Wilson.

The committee, very vocal on issues concerning the School District, met to discuss and spread the word about an ongoing crisis with funding for the Cherry Hill School District, considering the district’s decrease in funding over the past few years.

During the meeting, Wang said, “The State School Funding Reform Act of 2008, according to the Education law center, calculated that state educational aid for Cherry Hill would be at $29 million per year. In the 2009-2010 school year, Cherry Hill received about $16 million in aid.”

“However, in the 2010-2011 school year, Governor Chris Christie cut the state aid for Cherry Hill from $16 million to $8 million, also taking the $3 million in capital to balance the state budget, which ended in a surplus. Because of this, 120 educational assistants, aides, special education teachers and other staff were laid off,” said Wang.

In the 2014 fiscal year, according to the State Department of Education, Cherry Hill received $1,162 per pupil, while other districts, such as Washington Township and East Windsor, Received $6,489 and $3,729 per pupil, respectively. Most of these districts have returned to 2009-2010 school year funding levels, while Cherry Hill has not.

In an interesting fact, Wang said, “Every student and teacher at Voorhees Middle school gets an iPad.”

But, why does the government not raise taxes to fund the schools?

“We cannot raise our taxes due to the 2% cap put into place by Governor Christie,” Wang added. “These taxes are imperative for paying teachers more as inflation rises.”

Ziegler said at the meeting, “The impact is obvious. Outdated technology, poor building conditions and the loss of educational staff due to these cuts. I’m very worried about the elementary and middle school students who have to work under these environments.”

“Our representatives who should be helping us, like Rep. Norcross and Rep. Greenwald, all live in benefiting districts and are completely ignoring us,” Zeigler added.

It is obvious that the district is in a state of financial distress and needs help, but no one has answered the calls yet.

“We are reaching out to students and their parents, since they are becoming more proactive about issues about education in Cherry Hill, such as PARCC and the World Language Curriculum changes.” Zeigler said.

This meeting is not just about exposing problems about the Cherry Hill District, but rather getting to the roots and finding out the causes, as well as calling the community to action.

If this is not enough insult to the district, other districts are also building new additions and improvements to their schools, such as new textbooks, stadium expansions and valuable and necessary resources that Cherry Hill schools need.