Great Meadows School District loses $1MM in aid for 2021-2022

GMRSD whacked again.


https://nj1015.com/next-years-school-aid-two-thirds-gain-funds-one-third-lose/


I'm sorry but it won't make a difference unless we can actually start sending kids back to school on a regular basis and look at the school districts receiving aid, what do they all have in common?


Time to merge.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
February 25th

Great losing money to the hoods in the state as usual. all goes to the ghettos that are still that. Also crap if kids aren’t in school lower my property taxes. So tired of these clowns running Trenton never doing anything good for us normal Joe’s.


Wow, Drew. So you consider yourself 'normal' because you're not in a 'ghetto', as you put it? Real nice.

DogDayAfternoon
February 25th

Don't worry long valley is getting more.......


Ghettos; how quaint. How 60’s. Way to put a racial spin on it. Of course it’s not based in fact but in fear. “Who’s stealing my my cheese. It’s the ghetto people.” Sigh.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
February 25th

Hackettstown is getting $2MM more, Washington Towson in Morris losing $1,145,000.


Drew: You might be equally as offended if those in the “ghetto” called us rednecks. 1970 called and wants to keep its stereotypes in that decade. Click,

For reals For reals
February 26th

what kind of state government can justify such crazy changes in 1 year? Who runs their life like that? Inept. Bizarre.

Obviously,they could care less what people in the GMRSD district think. Vote out both Assembly members and the State Senator for our district. They obviously don't care about us.

Oh, but wait...alot of the state drinks our water right? Highlands preservation? Total disrespect.

There will be more unity under a Biden Administration. Ha!

Jim KIng
February 26th

The extra 2m Hackettstown got can absorb GM. NJ needs to look at school consolidation especially in a post covid world. 600+ school districts in NJ is not necessary.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
February 26th

Boomers can afford it. They have plenty of money to go out for 200.00+ dinners, yet cry poverty.
Just pony up already.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
February 26th

dodgebaal - I love how you think ALL boomers have 200$ dinners. LOL Ignorance is bliss.

DogDayAfternoon
February 26th

Great Meadows is losing money because you are losing population! You where warned that fiscally you could not keep your schools open while the populations drops drastically every year! Great Meadows had the chance to merge, and you all said we don't want "those" kids in our schools. Now sleep in the bed you made

Old school Old school
February 26th

When htown loses a couple M some of your attitudes will change.

1/2 billion to 1 school district east of here? wtf

Jim KIng
February 26th

Opening that school and taking liberty out of k-8 was the original mistake


Hey I’m not red neck if anything I’m an educated one and that’s fine. I’m in my 30s and sorry I’m passionate and love our small towns around us and I don’t like seeing or hearing that the funding is going to let’s me be friendlier the not so good cities in the state. Trenton, Elizabeth, Newark. I love change but those cities haven’t changed.


Drew, how has great meadows changed over the years?

englishe30 englishe30
February 26th

Great Meadows ( independence and liberty)has changed from a largely rural farming community to a large volume of townhouse projects and mcmansions...


Drew, your age doesn't matter. It's how you come across. Also, saying your educated with that run on sentence doesn't help the 'redneck' perception. Just realize everyone deserves a chance at education. The money may go to towns that you think are less deserving. It's not the fault of the children in the education system. It's the fault of the adults running the systems and politicians.

DogDayAfternoon
February 26th

District website states a 2021-2022 proposed total expenditures of $20.8 million.
For 662 students?
Non classroom spendings has crushed the district.
Gotta know when to hold ‘em...
Know when to fold ‘em...
Know when to walk away...
Time to fold these students into other districts.
Economic reality.


Just so it hits home....that is $31,940 per student per year.

Something has got to be done


District Superintendent, 6 figure contract.
Bunch of principals, all 6 figure contracts.
And on and on and on...
Time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Insane in the brain


What townhouses are in great meadows? Never heard of that

Warrener
February 26th

Crabby,
While your math is flawless, I am not certain that pps is calculated that way. NJ average is about $22,000 as is GMR, which was a 10% increase for GMR. H-town is $19,119, a 2% increase. Year is 2017-2018. The 10% is troublesome, perhaps there's a rationale for that one. https://www.nj.com/education/2019/08/heres-what-every-nj-district-spends-per-student.html

There's probably an update for later years but doubtful even with a 10% increase per year that they can get to $32K form $22K in a couple of years. And frankly, given budget increase constraints, I find the 10% increase probably not sustainable for multiple years. Constitutionally at least.

The US spends about the 5th highest per student amongst developed nations. Against GDP, we are about 12th. Our education system is considered either the best or one of the best, however, perhaps someone else can take a stab here since there seems to be a wide variance ranking to ranking. I just don't remember us being that high, as a country, in the world rankings.

On average, NJ has the best education system in the US. This has been true for years. We are either number one or two in any ranking. We get zip in $$$ from the Federal Govt for education support, like $900 a student, the state gives about $9K and us locals come up with about $12K per student. With the best education system in the US, we spend at the 4th highest position between the states.

We spend about 5% of our taxable income on education.

IOW ---- we seem to get more than we pay for in education results unless you don't like paying 4th but coming in first. We get the most but don't spend the most.

I do understand always wanting to pay less, highest property taxes in the land, and that most people think education is the one budgetary item they actually can voice an opinion and can have an effect. Not to mention that nagging feeling that if I don't have kids I shouldn't have to pay. But frankly folks, it seems that we have a deal here and if you believe in education as the best way to make a culture, to lift a culture, to transform a culture in a positive fashion ---- before we advocate shorting them on the cash, we should be darned sure of the results. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
February 26th

dodgebaal- a choice to spend a couple of $200 dinners a year is different than many many THOUSANDS being stolen.

I'd rather chose what I spend MY earned money on than have it forcibly taken and squandered.

The school didn't loose anything- the taxpayer win by getting to keep some of their money in their own wallet.

School spending is such a racket. All at the excuse of 'think of the kids'.

Reality- kids that have the motivation and aptitude to succeed will, kids that don't - won't. Doesn't matter how much money, how qualified the teacher / book you throw at them.

I've said it before and still believe it- you can take all the schools back to what was 40-50 years ago- nothing will change. Most people try just hard enough to get by.

Don't even get me started on the scam of college- which most people graduate and don't even work in the field they went to school for- much less all the courses, time, books, etc on stuff that has nothing to do with what they will do for work.


Josh- please let me say.
At LEAST as valuable in higher education, classroom learning not withstanding , is learning how to navigate the Bursar, the Dean, the Head of the Dept, Professors, deadlines, time allocation , raising funds , socializing , communication, health mgt.,etc. etc.etc.
I would (in my experience) rate the “classroom” experience as of ancillary.
Done good.
Lucky.


Drew: You were offended at the prospective redneck stereotype that "ghetto" folks may have, but quickly to call inner cities ghettos. If you could provide first-hand proof that these areas haven't changed, please let me know. Unless you witness something first-hand, I don't think you have the right to say.

And I see no evidence of townhomes or McMansions in Great Meadows, and I worked for the census and was out there often. I know mailing addresses out here tend to blur lines so perhaps I have fallen short in that observation.

As for your education. Booksmarts and degrees do not compensate for stereotyping as in ghetto v. redneck.

For reals For reals
February 26th

You get robbed one way or the other. BTW, the total cost doesn't include pension and retiree medical which is handled (and levied) at the state level. Just like borrowing over 4 Billion last year and then putting 6 Billion in the pension fund this year. They should have contributed less and used the money to pay off at least half of last year's borrowing...


Offended call me whatever you’d like? I could care less. Let me apologize as you seem very sensitive.


Great Meadows lost state aid last year and will probably lose more state aid again next year because of a change to the state's school funding formula that spreads rebalancing out over multiple years. It's the same story for North Warren, which can't even get their district residents to approve a bond to fix their leaky roof.

(btw no taxpayers are saving money, funding just goes somewhere else)

People are talking about consolidation, but Great meadows just broke away from sharing (costs for) superintendent and 3-4 other high-level administrators with Hackettstown. Curious if anyone who was in favor of the break-up feels differently now?

Hackettstown is also about to spend $2mm on four trailers at their elementary schools for more classes. Even at the meeting where they decided that, Mango was still busting the GM board rep about the expansion deal w/ Liberty School that fell through. Seems like it was a lost opportunity for GM to potentially recoup some revenue as GM knew state aid was declining and would continue to decline.

pittiedad pittiedad
February 26th

If the patterns at LV and surrounding areas of declining enrollment are common then hackettstown is unusual in that sense.

LVRetiree
February 26th

Josh,
hate to burst your bubble, but you, and each of your family members in your household (with 2 legs) currently owe approximately 90k in order to balance the pension fund for the teachers. Ready to pony up?

You can thank all of your old neighbors around you, that cried for years for a tax break, never paid enough, never balanced the budget, but wanted more and more. Many of them enjoyed the fruit, then skipped out and never paid.

My guess is plenty more are going to do the same thing, Boomers, leaving the state, maxing out their house price, pocketing the money, and leaving the debt.
It's why they are called the locust generation.

Even with all of the money they have, house paid off, Lexus in the driveway, they need taxes lowered, AARP cards, free donuts, free breakfasts, free cards to get into state parks. It's good to be the victim isn't it?

The kid giving them the free donut has to pay for his, with his 1996 Corolla falling apart in the parking lot. Plus he has to pay into Social Security, which along with Medicare, will have all of it's funds stolen by the Boomers with nothing left for him. Sounds about right.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
February 26th

wow dodgeball. angry a little?

Jim KIng
February 26th

Geez, dodgebaal, you certainly try to put everyone into one basket that you THINK is right. You're very narrow minded. Very.

DogDayAfternoon
February 27th

These are the facts. Call me what you want, but this is your problem. It's a kick the can down the road problem. And your neighbors who left last year, the year before, and the year before that have left you with this debt. And when you leave, you will have left your debt as well to that pimple faced kid should he be able to afford that overpriced overtaxed house your realtor is going to try to push on him with a new young wife that will pressure him into buying something they can't really afford. But hey, you profited handsomely and you can buy a new house in SC for what you sold your old house for in NJ and pay less taxes.


https://www.nj.com/politics/2020/05/njs-troubled-public-pension-fund-piled-up-more-debt-before-coronavirus-crisis.html

dodgebaal dodgebaal
February 27th

Just leave this crap state. That’s all you can do. NJ is the bottom of the barrel a pig with lipstick. The greatest satisfaction one can have is leaving.


Amazingly if you read the story; the increase in unfunded is due to actuarial estimation changes while the state is contributing more than ever and the fund is actually getting healthier.

It notes that even with increased deposits, we are not funding enough, but hey, it’s a pandemic year.

This is NJ’s biggest problem; uncompetitive property taxes the next, but at least some movement in the right direction under the current administration’s guidance, even in a pandemic year.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
February 27th

I never thought I’d meet someone that sticks a little extra in the envelope with their tax bill and is willing to sell their home for less than the market commands.
Pleased to meet you dodgeball.


You guys out there in GMs are getting hosed by Trenton.

lonelyvoice
February 27th

For reals,

I do believe that the Hills of Independence and the housing units between route 517 and Willow Grove Street, off of Bilby Road, are all town houses. You can find the McMansions on Ketcham Road and a few others that aren't close to the road throughout the township if you know where they are.


The State has been throwing truck loads of money at the inner-city schools for decades with the same results. Nothing will change until you have parents that take an interest in their child’s education/future. We need a generation that really cares, to break the endless, vicious cycle that plagues inner-city life.

What a surprise
February 27th

@magpie. Thanks for the clarification. I totally forget that Bilby Road is considered Independence/Great Meadows and the McMansions on Ketchum!

For reals For reals
February 27th

Bilby road condos are Hackettstown.


Their school district is Great Meadows.

For reals For reals
February 27th

No, Towpath Apartments and those condos on Bilby are GM. I live there.


Bilby condos IN Independence.
Same as Hills of Independence.
Valley View Estates in Hackettstown.


"Don't even get me started on the scam of college- which most people graduate and don't even work in the field they went to school for- much less all the courses, time, books, etc on stuff that has nothing to do with what they will do for work."

Without that "scam" most employers won't even look at you, especially government jobs. Feel free to blame it on the employers that require a college education for a career they know doesn't even require one.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
February 28th

Stymie,
I pad that envelope quite well. You are welcome. Don't spend it all in one place.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
February 28th

Would you like some cheese with your “whine”?


Ok…my thoughts…my kids are out a decade or so now but I believe I remember the following:
Before the middle school was built GM tried to regionalize with Hackettstown and Allamuchy. No takers. GM was the resulting outcome, a regionalization between Indy and Liberty. Subsequently at some time in the future, Liberty spent a chunk of taxpayer $’s suing GM to get out of the arrangements. Probably a lesson there but I doubt it. Of interest, GMR was the last (unless something happened recently) regional district in NJ to be formed. From the forum, I believe I have learned that the locals already share a superintendent as well as other services…so…regionalization outcome?
A fair % of the GM budget goes to tuition costs for students attending HHS. Possibly, if Hackettstown has a decent amount of aide, that might be adjusted in GMR favor.
Additionally, public education is labor intensive. There are a myriad of issues on teacher accountability/competentcy/etc but the basic ratio of teacher to student is a necessary one. Please understand, neither myself or my wife were employed by the education system (or any other government entity). Consequently, retired with small pension, savings, etc and concerned as everyone else about taxes rising. However, both of my children received a good public education that got them into very good colleges and post graduate laurels. What goes around, comes around?


New2..

Very thoughtful summary

Jim KIng
February 28th

"What goes around, comes around?"


Not even remotely- everyone's wallets are robbed, not everyone benefits.

And as typical- the people that work harder and are successful get robbed the most.

The people that do the least, contribute the least, and use much more than their fair share by %.


The entire funding for the educational system in this state is rigged to not only fund it but to increase over time. Despite enrollment at GMR declining by at least 50% over the past 13 years our budget has increased by at least 50% over that time. As a long time student of this process in the GMR district I can only tell you if you are as thorourghly disgusted as I am,your only choice to beat the system is to leave the state.


GM chose to leave the shared services agreement and increase their admin costs - solely because of home rule ego. H'town even proposed sending tuition middle school students to GM to prop up their budget and alleviate overcrowding.

Total insanity on their part, already facing a known reduction in state aid. As GM enrollment continues to fall, partly because of the Highlands Act, GM will continue to lose as the State (rightly) reapportions aid to districts that are growing and have been underfunded, as is Hackettstown.

Look to your BOE members for a rationalization, as recently elected members ran on the platform of ending the agreement and opposing the send/receive proposal. Smooth move.

Barnacle Bill
February 28th

Business is forced to close and consolidate when not meeting the expectations and responsibilities to the shareholders. If anyone thinks that “schooling” is not a business is fooling themselves. The schools need to be fiscally responsible to us the shareholders. They have not been and change is needed for two reasons they are not fiscally responsible and also not producing a level of education readying our children for the workforce. Sorry that Great Meadows is being exposed in this thread, the problem exists far beyond GM. The gig is up schools. Time for change is now.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
March 1st

We pay the fourth highest price in the land and have the best education in the land. If this were a business, they would be paying large bonuses. Way to go teachers!

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
March 1st

Consolidation


I think total reconfiguration of pension and health care packages is required. This, along with consolidation of districts resulting in the elimination of a number of administrative positions is the only way to right the ship.
Of course, unions will resist.
This will result in strikes, shutdowns and/or lockouts.
It will get very messy.
I realize this sounds draconian.
Or we can ...?

Stymie Stymie
March 1st

SD, having a ton of administration does not educate any better. You tell me why the curriculum would need to be tweaked across our towns. Cut administration and the number of school districts.


I have no problem with consolidation; I advocate it.

My facts are as stated; NJ has a top rated school system. We pay the fourth highest price. We may be expensive, we get the best results. We may be expensive, others pay the same or more for less.

I would be very careful before I played with that math.

Most of our kids have little issues with acceptance to top rated schools. You heard it here. My kids too. Like I said, sounds like we should think about bonuses.

Certainly should not slash and burn.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
March 1st

SD - I believe that is the shortest post or point you have ever made. With that said, sure the numbers say we have the best education in the land on paper. Key words on paper. Try hiring some of these ill prepared kids and you will feel differently. Amount of spend does not equal shining stars.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
March 1st

What I do not get is the overabundance of administrators in the district. The current Superintendent was the elementary school principal prior to his current position. Why not consolidate both positions as I doubt there would be much more work in such a small district having the Superintendent also serve as Principal of the elementary school.

Also, notice the damage Mango left in Great Meadows? Never an outside person getting administrative job in either Hackettstown or Great Meadows. Current GM Super was once a Hackettstown middle school administrator, current GM elementary school principal also a former Hackettstown middle school assistant principal. Never someone from outside of Mango's world getting the position.

What are they doing with the closed elementary school? Should find a way to sell the property to reduce taxes. GM should just consolidate with Hackettstown as this was already another Mango fiefdom when he was Super of both Hackettstown and GM.

reisident08
March 1st

CBB,

Are you talking about hiring HS graduates or college grads?

Jim KIng
March 1st

High school students who are not even making the grade to get into a college therefore entering the workforce.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
March 1st

CBB; the stats on average earnings for no school, hs, 4yr and advanced would indicate education does pay. More means more.

I, for one, had a journalism degree, can’t spell, never practiced, but used degree for fame, fortune, a free advanced degree, more fame, fortune, early retirement, and a second career as HL lurker :-).

While personal initiative matters muchly, on average, statistically speaking, on paper, education pays. Sure, there are exceptions. But that’s the rule.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
March 1st

@strangerdanger! A kindred soul. I, too, have a journalism degree, which basically makes me extinct in the fake news era. But I definitely enjoyed a long-running career with said degree and consider myself blessed that I went to college in general and even more blessed that my parents were able to send me.

And yes, I agree that a degree does give someone an edge in term of securing a job that offers health insurance and more livable wages. It shouldn't be that way, the wages and the need for a degree, but we get who we vote for.

For reals For reals
March 1st

So we're all agreed then, the schools should be open, kids should be in classrooms
and NJ is screwing the poor folks out in GM

lonelyvoice
March 4th

The home of the creative sure isn't doing much different


Stymie,

"Would you like some cheese with your “whines”?"

"District Superintendent, 6 figure contract.
Bunch of principals, all 6 figure contracts."

"I think total reconfiguration of pension and health care packages is required. This, along with consolidation of districts resulting in the elimination of a number of administrative positions is the only way to right the ship.
Of course, unions will resist.
This will result in strikes, shutdowns and/or lockouts.
It will get very messy.
I realize this sounds draconian.
Or we can ...?"

dodgebaal dodgebaal
March 7th

Throughout this thread, there are a bunch of comments about reducing administration and/or consolidating school districts. While I do agree this is necessary, it is not going to provide much tax relief! Has anyone actually worked out the savings?? It looks like the GMRSD budget is about $20m per year. If a few of those six figure salaries (with benefits) are eliminated the budget might be reduced by $500k, or 2.5% of the budget! If you pay $8000 in school tax, your bill would be reduced by $200! So, yes, tax bill would go down a bit but it wouldn’t make a significant difference. Unless I’m missing something?

FarmerJake FarmerJake
March 8th

Farmer: I'll gladly take those savings! But you're right, because things are the way they are, in the grand scheme they aren't that significant.

While this will never happen because of home rule, we need true consolidation. And I'm not just talking about combining Great Meadows into Hackettstown. Think more county level school districts which are used in Maryland. Then larger economies of scale can be realized. Not just from a few less administrators, but also the "back-office" operations like HR, IT and purchasing could be effectively centralized. And perhaps even other operations like transportation and curriculum development.

Unfortunately, the will for these types of changes is not there.

Route 46
March 8th

Of course there is no will. These are all good jobs for the individuals. What has to be done is to respect the taxpayer and implement changes to reduce costs where it makes sense. We are the highest in property taxes, #1. This can't continue to be ignored.


NO. NO . No.

All this wasted energy bashing local people, when the Whole Problem is a school funding formula that taxes You and Sends 95% of it on the "DIRTY 31". This thread was about losing funding while $500,000,000 goes to ONE school system? Insane!

Please check out how much better we'd be If NJ didn't rip us off!!

Trenton absolutely loves when we eat our own..... stop fighting ourselves and fight with Trenton.

xerox
March 8th

SPENDS

xerox
March 8th

Note new legislation mentioned here:
https://patch.com/new-jersey/longvalley/long-valley-schools-could-merge-under-new-consolidation-plan
"The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved legislation on Tuesday to help start the process of creating K-12 regional and countywide school districts in an effort to improve educational quality and efficiency....."
Don't know if schools mentioned in this thread were included.

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
March 13th

If I may Xerox.
The method of raising education funds is a separate and distinct subject from the wasteful use of these funds.
Duplication of positions and services spread over hundreds of districts (some with NO students) is the larger problem- IMHO.


These are high paying jobs for people making a career in education. As a taxpayer I could care less about their career path, efficiency of tax dollars is what it should be about...


Stymie. This thread is about loss of aid. You and others decided to twist it to conform to your agendas.

Ijay. Efficiency of tax dollars according to Trenton is to send your tax dollars East. By the hundreds of millions. March on Trenton.

Jim KIng
March 14th

Too old for marching on taxes in NJ Jim, would rather use my time planning my departure...


Me too iJay. But that place is the problem not GM

Jim KIng
March 14th

Hail to the King?
Aid is to funding as calories are to diet.
Intertwined.
Sorry if you cannot connect the dots.


dot 1-- GM citizens pay income tax to Trenton, pay gas tax to Trenton
dot 2-- Trenton decides how to spend the tax money
dot 3-- Trenton sends most if it to 31 school districts
dot 4--GMRSD gets screwed by Trenton
dot 5--The 31 school districts spend more per pupil than GMRSD
dot 6--The 31 school districts pay higher salaries to their teachers and administrators
than GMRSD
dot 7--The return on investment in the 31 is criminal

These are my dots. I don't expect them to be yours.

No need for you to apologize. King out...........

Jim KIng
March 14th

Drew, your statement that the money goes to the “ghetto” is correct, but I think the snowflake term is “Abbott Districts”. Of course, we might as well take those billions and flush them down the toilet for all the good it does and has historically done.


One dot.
Proposed 2021-2022 expenditure for GMSD—22.8 MILLION DOLLARS.
662 students.
As they say- do the math.


To the "ghetto" we are the sticks/rednecks.

For reals For reals
March 14th

I will gladly wear the “sticks/redneck” crown.


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