LETTER: Writer surprised by apparent school tax contradiction

In your article dated March 6–12, titled “Medford Township school taxes could be increasing,” I was surprised at the obvious contradiction of information.

With a possible increase in school budget, beyond a given 2 percent allowed by state mandate, coupled with a 14 percent decrease in enrollment, why are we adding positions and cost to the budget at all?

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Superintendent Joe Del Rossi stated that the total school enrollment would drop from 3,014 students in 2010–2011 to 2,600 students in 2015–2016.

He further states, “that’s an entire school building.” So, why are we increasing costs instead of looking to consolidate?

Wouldn’t it be better to have four schools fully staffed with all the perks (including full-day kindergarten) versus five schools with fewer services and shared staffing?

This significant drop in enrollment is less than two years away.

In direct reference to Del Rossi’s quotes, the reality is that the families with school-aged children cannot afford to live in Medford because the real estate taxes are too expensive.

As a town, when 72 percent of our taxes go to the school budget, don’t you think we have responsibility to look for cost savings there first versus Del Rossi passing blame elsewhere?

Mr. Del Rossi and the Medford School Board: please do not ask us to pay more money when you have not exhausted all of your avenues of cost savings first.

Lastly, knowing we would have so much vacant space in our current five school buildings, where was the wisdom on constructing a new stand-alone administrative building?

Barbara Butler

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