MICKLETON– During the East Greenwich Committee meeting on Sept. 22, Mayor Dale Archer criticized New Jersey’s unfair funding of the community’s schools, along with funding for Kingsway Regional High School.
Archer said that average school unfunding in New Jersey is now 85 percent. East Greenwich’s total was 49 percent, while Kingsway came in at just 47 percent.
Archer, coming off a meeting with the New Jersey Board of Education, called for petitioning of state legislators about the matter. The Committee referred to school funds as “unfunding” due to state budget cuts in education.
“We’re writing a speech, and taking it to the statehouse,” the Mayor stated. “We’re going to challenge their courage.”
“We’re taking away from our children and putting a bigger burden on our taxpayers,” added Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri, who applauded Archer for his efforts. “We’re now paying for things we used to get for free.”
The Committeeman noted that Washington Township and Clearview High School receive above the state average. Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin listed Washington Township’s funding total at 141 percent, and Logan Township at 179.8 percent.
Bottiglieri mentioned that funds received by the local schools were actually unconstitutional, according to the school funding act. The School Funding Reform Act of 2008 bases a district’s aid on enrollment increases or decreases, a district’s current spending level compared to the amount the formula deems necessary to provide a good education, and the school’s property tax level.
East Greenwich is one of the fastest growing towns in the county. Archer says the people need to reach out to their legislators. “They are the ones who can institute change,” Archer observed. “Our tax money is going somewhere else.”
East Greenwich Township Deputy Police Chief Chris Everwine suggested, “The more people we can get to make noise, the better.”
In resolutions, the Committee appointed Christine Monaco as State Uniform Construction Code Control Person. Also, Stephanie McCaffrey was named as the township’s Escrow Clerk.
And the Committee authorized the creation of a Mount Laurel Subcommittee to assist the township in addressing affordable housing issues. East Greenwich’s COAH lawyer suggested the Subcommittee, according to Archer.
In discussion items, Archer talked about East Greenwich’s upcoming transition of trash services to Logan Township in 2016. “Literature will be going out to our residents during December about changes to expect,” the Mayor said. “They will be using a one-armed trash truck, and everything has to go inside the can.”
East Greenwich begins a shared service agreement for trash and recycling with Logan in January. Cost per household to collect trash is currently $12.77, and the total will drop to $9 with the new deal, according to Archer.
He has projected community savings at $122,000 a year under the new agreement.