VOTE April 20th - 3 pm to 9 pmWhy should you care about Asbury Park's Board of Education race and start by attending tonight's debate at the Asbury Tower, the 26-story high rise at the east end of Deal Lake Drive, at 6 PM?
Asbury Park's school system has gotten new blood infused, in the form of a new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Denise Lowe, and High School Principal, Tyler Blackmore, who has drawn impressive accolades since taking on a truly challenging job. Blackmore is highly visible, including nights and weekends, and the most accessible APHS principal in our 10 year experience in the City.
Yet Asbury Park's School District keeps coming up short. The cost of educating a student in Asbury Park was 70% higher than the state average, for the school year 2008 - 2009. That's $24,548 per student. The Board budgeted $61.9 million, or $24,306 per student, for the current year 2009-2010. At that cost the District is still 50% over the State average. That's at a personal cost of $1,157 from you for every $80,000 of assessed value on your home. Obviously, the State is providing a big chunk of this overhead. To its credit the current board wants to lower that City school tax to $59 per $80,000 assessed value for the next year (2010-2011), based on its getting more than $1 million from the Federal Government and $54 million from the State.
All that cost yet student performance ranks among the lowest in the State. It takes a long time to turn a ship around, even one that is consistently losing its cargo - enrollment has dwindled to 2300 students. If you don't have questions by now for the candidates who are eager to change things for the better, you should check your pulse.
See you tonight!