Councilman Defends School Budget Cuts

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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.

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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
Edison


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