The following excerpt is from an email sent to me by a reader who is a New Jersey educator:
"Things are getting very tight here in NJ. Today the governor offered districts an increase in state aid if the teachers agree to a wage freeze. In our district we are cutting one kindergarten teacher, custodians, paras, and Spanish. We are going from 11 buses to 6, doing away with courtesy busing. We have cut all field trips, afterschool and evening activities. All of our classroom supplies budgets have been cut in half. We are outsourcing food services as well. Even with all those cuts, we are still looking at raising the average homeowner's taxes about $1000 for next year for school taxes alone. Now we vote on our budget here. If it doesn't pass, we will be forced to cut more."
To summarize the education situation in Jersey - State aid has been slashed, wages could be frozen, student programs could be cut, and property taxes are still skyrocketing. This is why we must deal with our financial problems now rather than putting them off any further. If we don't do it, somebody else will.