Funding Fiasco

Aug 16, 2017

To the Editor:

I am truly perplexed. How can something so inequitable be allowed to continue for so long?

LBI residents pay much more than Stafford Township residents to send their children to the same schools in the Southern Regional School District, where their kids receive identical educations from the same faculty. I don’t really care what archaic formula is used to calculate the rate – it remains basically unfair.

I have heard anecdotal evidence that we could send all the concerned LBI school kids to Harvard for less tuition.  While this might be a slight exaggeration, I find myself at a loss to understand the varying stories and letters that appear in The SandPaper. There is so much information available to us in this age of news saturation that it is almost impossible to tell what is true. “Fake news” is really out there and what we have seen on this issue might be called “confusing news.”

The bottom line is a huge amount of LBI taxpayer money is going to an exceedingly unfair cause. Sure, we want to give our kids the best education possible, but we want to share the expense equally with all those in the same situation.

I find it difficult to believe that intelligent people can’t sit down and work something out. I have heard that our contribution is based on our property value. Being a resort community right on the Atlantic Ocean, is it any surprise that LBI property values exceed those of Stafford Township? What might have been a fair way to share educational expenses years ago is no longer just, and has not been just for many years. How much money have the good citizens of LBI paid out unnecessarily?

Someone needs to bite the bullet and take responsibility for this fiasco. I have seen it come up time after time, only to die a slow death and fade away. The concept of giving away other people’s money doesn’t seem to faze a lot of politicians.

I admit that I, for one, ought to be better informed on this issue. I don’t even have kids in the school system anymore, but as a resident of LBI I have already paid and continue to pay more than my share. I appeal to our local leaders to end this madness now.

Perhaps we could set up a toll booth on our new bridge to charge Stafford residents to come enjoy the value of the wonderful property on LBI? 

Just kidding, but there must be a way!

Larry Chalk

Haven Beach

Comments (1)
Posted by: Jean D Ragone | Aug 17, 2017 07:22

I agree that the school tax is unfair. As many properties on the Island are NOT principle residences, the owners are paying taxes without representation. And in the school tax withnparticipation as well. They cannot vote in the elections;they have no say regarding many bills that will have an effect on them or their property; they cannot participate in the school board;; they have nonsay whatsoever on how the Southern Regional School District spends their hard earned money. When school boards are not held accountable by those who elect them and those who pay taxes, they are free to allocate those monies without reprisal. If someone told me that I could buy a Tesla for my family's use and only pay 1/5 of its cost because somebody else was footing the bill, I'd be a fool not to do it. That is exactly would the Southetn Regional School District is doing.

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