After being accused of reporting inaccurate information at a recent board meeting, it appears the three school board candidates, running for school board as the slate "CARE", have decided to take down their website from the public's view. The website address waswww.roxburycare.com
Prior to last week, school board candidates Volz, Coakley and Casola were reporting the following information on their website:
Because of budget defeats and the governor's cuts, Roxbury Schools have suffered the following:
- The dismissal of 51 staff members including teachers, aides, secretaries, a vice principal and transportation staff.
- Funding was cut to the transportation budget ($275,000) thereby forcing the department to reschedule some bus routes.
- The Board of Education is forced to consider outsourcing transportation and other services.
- Guidance services have been reduced K to 12.
- Technology has been scaled back.
- There is now a 400 to 1 ratio of students to administrators at the high school.
- Students have to pay to participate in sports and clubs. Often parents are paying significantly more for pay- to-play than they would have paid in tax increases if the budget had passed.
- Repairs in all of our school buildings are past due because there just isn't enough money to do them.
"Most of these accusations are just plain false." stated Fran Day, Roxbury TEAM candidate
for Roxbury School Board. Day went on to say, "Superintendent of Schools, Patrick Tierney confirmed at this week's board meeting that technology had not been scaled back. Actually, every classroom is now equipped with a smart board which greatly enhances learning."
"The school board has not lost 51 staff members this or any year." stated Garry DeFilippis, Roxbury TEAM candidate for Roxbury School Board. "Although it is true the school board outsourced several custodial positions over the past two years, past Roxbury Schools Superintendent Jim O'Neil confirmed previously that the district added 6 teaching staff members in 2010 / 2011 and then reduced the teaching staff by 6 in 2011 / 2012. This much smaller reduction was because of declining enrollment, not because of failed budgets."
Garry DeFilippis went on to say, "The New Jersey Department of Education website states that the student to administrator ratio for the district was 178 to 1 in 2009 / 2010 and 188 to 1 in 2010 / 2011. The current school board has actually added administrative costs, not reduced them."
Current school board member Chris Rogers said, "The policy called Pay To Play has NOT been eliminated. It has only been put on hold for three years, mainly because Roxbury TEAM made it a campaign issue during last year's election. Soon after, school board member Maureen Castriotta and I advocated the total elimination of the policy. There is more than enough money generated in the budget every year. Pay To Play should be eliminated once and for all. There is no need to scare parents with the possibility of paying extra fees even if the school board does not increase the tax levy year after year."
Although it is unclear if the Roxbury CARE candidates were purposefully trying to mislead the public, it is clear that many of the facts they reported on their website and in the recent newspaper article are false. The CARE website, run by wife of current school board member Ron Lucas could not be reached via email for comment.