Councilman Defends School Budget Cuts

It’s disturbing the Edison Board of Education is even thinking about cutting more school district jobs and student programs under the guise of complying with the Edison Township Council’s recommended $6.5 million school budget reduction.

This was the hardest decision my fellow council members and I have made. We did not recommend these budget cuts using an abacus and a crystal ball. We did it based on expert advice from an independent auditor and detailed talks with the school business administrator and staff.


The Edison Township Council acted responsibly and followed the wishes of our voters who soundly reject the school district’s original $204.8 million budget and its average $268 tax increase.

If the school board acts appropriately this $6.5 million can be taken from line items they initially over-budgeted and income they originally underestimated. If the Edison teachers’ union agrees to a one-year salary standstill, all of this $6.5 million cut can easily be absorbed. In fact, some jobs and programs could be restored.

I am worried the BOE may eliminate more programs, more extracurricular activities and more jobs simply to play risky games with people’s jobs, our children’s education and to further upset already-troubled parents.

Council members Robert Karabinchek, Wayne Mascola, Melissa Perilstein, Sudhanshu Prasad and I firmly believe we did the right, the responsible and the reasonable thing: We followed the wishes of the voters. Now, it is time our elected school board and for the teachers’ union to do the same.

Councilman Thomas Lankey

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