Uphold School Mandate

Jan 10, 2018

Surf City Voters:

There is a most important school board election Jan. 23 and, once more, I ask for your support . Your 2 to 1 mandate in the last election against spending $20 million for a new school must be upheld. I agree with your mandate along with the suggestions of the mayors. When elected I will keep you informed on issues that affect your child’s education, safety and welfare.

I am against the spending of $20 million for a new school. The maintenance of the LBI Grade School building in Ship Bottom has been neglected. It can be completely renovated and become an excellent structure conductive of a proper education. Maintenance of the Ethel Jacobsen School in Surf City is also an issue. The heating has failed in some of the classrooms.

The latest evidence of neglect is that all five school buses have been declared unfit for use by state inspectors. I guess bus maintenance and a functional heating system take a back seat to the voluntary expense of accepting out-of-district Choice students  

I am against bringing in students (“Choice Students”) from other areas. Our cost is $1.4 million per year, of which the state only compensates the school district $550,000, resulting in an annual deficit of $850,000 paid by LBI taxpayers. In addition to the monetary loss, accepting these students deprives our LBI resident students of valuable extra instructional time. Some classes are filled with over 30 percent Choice students. It is commonly known that student-teacher ratio is a primary factor in student performance.

Alarming fact: The school board voluntarily accepts out-of-district students from Little Egg Harbor to Toms River. Stafford Township alone (which pays zero taxes to this district) currently sends 40 Choice students. That’s more students than the entire borough of Surf City has enrolled, leaving Surf City taxpayers to pay for their educational costs.

A special word to those parents who have children attending the LBI school:

• Who decided to not to replace the school librarian? My opponent.

• Who decided to discontinue educational school field trips? My opponent.

• Who decided to waste over $1 million of taxpayer money in legal and professional costs by prematurely moving forward with new school designs before even receiving approval from the taxpayers? My opponent.

• Who decided to delay the proper maintenance and repairs to the buildings and buses? My opponent.                                              

I believe all school facilities should be completely refurbished and have a prepared, consistent and continuing maintenance plan, including buses. I also believe we should reinstate the librarian position and reinstitute educational field trips. I come from a family of educators, and Surf City students will be my first priority. They are entitled to a great hometown education, an LBI education. You the taxpayers are entitled to responsible fiscal decisions and transparency in expenditures and policy of the school district.

I would greatly appreciate your support. Do not forget to vote Jan. 23.

John McMenamin

Surf City



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