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Old 04-29-2011, 09:35 AM
Status: "Just perusing" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,479 posts, read 7,909,552 times
Reputation: 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
It would be interesting to know how many members of BOEs have family connections to people who work in their school districts. I read an article recently and I was amazed how often it seems to happen. Now we have no one to blame but ourselves since we vote these people in. But it must be hard to be "fighting for the taxpayer" if your own family is benefiting by you "fighting for the teachers".
BINGO! i'm with you here. apathy in voters and/or elected individuals who are supposed to fight for the voters' interest just doesn't excuse it.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 18,408,791 times
Reputation: 15325
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERSEY MAN View Post
Thats why I find it amazing that people don't vote. The turnout for school BOE and budgets is out and out dismal.
I think part of the problem is actually getting enough information about the BOE elections. It's not like for governor or president where you can't go 2 minutes without hearing or reading something about the candidates. It can be quite a chore figuring out why to vote for person A over person B. I don't even think the ballot tells you who is the incumbent.

And yes, that is an excuse. I realize that. But I'm sure it contributes to the apathy.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:47 AM
Status: "Just perusing" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,479 posts, read 7,909,552 times
Reputation: 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I think part of the problem is actually getting enough information about the BOE elections. It's not like for governor or president where you can't go 2 minutes without hearing or reading something about the candidates. It can be quite a chore figuring out why to vote for person A over person B. I don't even think the ballot tells you who is the incumbent.

And yes, that is an excuse. I realize that. But I'm sure it contributes to the apathy.
you're right about it being more difficult than a major election...but voters in this country are downright lazy. in a few seconds, i could find out who played third base for the pittsburg pirates on may 10, 1972.

i'm sure it's not that difficult to find out some information about your local elections.

in fact, i'd say it's easier to get useful information in a local election precisely because there is no media circus and mudslinging on TV 24/7. i'd say larger elections have more information thrown at us, but mostly useless information.

voter apathy in this country is mind boggling to me.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:13 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 1,919,084 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
eh. i don't look at it that way. BOE are elected to fight for the taxpayers. if they don't want to do that, they don't need to run.

Ridgewood Board of Education announces salary freeze for teachers, secretaries in preliminary budget | NJ.com
In a lot of towns, candidates for the BOE often run unopposed. There really isn't a rush of people vying for the job.

I'm not sure they are elected to fight for the taxpayers. They're elected to make the decisions regarding the school district, and to ensure the district complies with the bazillion regulations and mandates from the state.

The teachers etc. have their union and lobbyists and money and lawyers and all of that. But there just isn't a counter-force for taxpayers.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:40 AM
Status: "Just perusing" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,479 posts, read 7,909,552 times
Reputation: 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post
In a lot of towns, candidates for the BOE often run unopposed. There really isn't a rush of people vying for the job.

I'm not sure they are elected to fight for the taxpayers. They're elected to make the decisions regarding the school district, and to ensure the district complies with the bazillion regulations and mandates from the state.

The teachers etc. have their union and lobbyists and money and lawyers and all of that. But there just isn't a counter-force for taxpayers.
Taxpayers elect them. Anyone can run if they don't think the incumbants are doing enough. They absolutely represent the interests of the taxpayers. Taxpayers' laziness and assumption that someone else will handle it is partially responsible for the power unions have in the negotiations.

Join an organization like students first. Band together with people in your community. Get involved.

Apathy is not a valid excuse. At least not in my mind.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:47 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 1,919,084 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
Taxpayers elect them. Anyone can run if they don't think the incumbants are doing enough. They absolutely represent the interests of the taxpayers. Taxpayers' laziness and assumption that someone else will handle it is partially responsible for the power unions have in the negotiations.

Join an organization like students first. Band together with people in your community. Get involved.

Apathy is not a valid excuse. At least not in my mind.
There are community groups that do that, but they still don't have the muscle and more importantly, the money of the unions.

And of course, the money of the unions is mandated to be paid by the members of the union, according to laws written by legislators that were supported by....the unions.

What needs to happen for real change is not going to happen through local BOEs, which can be overrided by the NJ Dept. of Education anyway. The laws have to be changed, but for that to happen, a governor like Christie has to have a legislature behind him, which he doesn't have. That's what we see happening in WI and OH.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 18,408,791 times
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I heard this morning 12 of the 14 budgets asking to go over the 2% cap were voted down. Maybe everything is just baby steps.

1. No big increases
2. Stay flat
3. Decrease taxes
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:38 PM
Status: "Just perusing" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
11,479 posts, read 7,909,552 times
Reputation: 3044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post
There are community groups that do that, but they still don't have the muscle and more importantly, the money of the unions.

And of course, the money of the unions is mandated to be paid by the members of the union, according to laws written by legislators that were supported by....the unions.

What needs to happen for real change is not going to happen through local BOEs, which can be overrided by the NJ Dept. of Education anyway. The laws have to be changed, but for that to happen, a governor like Christie has to have a legislature behind him, which he doesn't have. That's what we see happening in WI and OH.
excuses still. vote against increases if one wants reduced taxes. it's the only logical step. if one votes yes for an increase, and then complains...i'm sorry, but the complaints don't hold much weight.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Ocean County
3,740 posts, read 5,603,619 times
Reputation: 2093
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
excuses still. vote against increases if one wants reduced taxes. it's the only logical step. if one votes yes for an increase, and then complains...i'm sorry, but the complaints don't hold much weight.
After 12 pages we have a winner. It's easy, people biacth that the school budget taxes are high then sit at home on the computer or watch TV and complain that the taxes are high. If u think your tax is high u should have voted the budget down. Lack of voting to me is the #1 reason that the school portion of your bill is too high. JM has spoken.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:03 AM
 
1,528 posts, read 1,919,084 times
Reputation: 401
I'm not sticking up for the people who don't vote. That's just apathy and I can't respect that.

But, I think that it is rational for parents who are currently using the P.S. system to vote Yes.

If a budget fails, raises don't get cut, benefits don't get cut, and we all know, these are the bulk of the budget. These things are all protected under contract. The BOE has no control over these in off-contract years.

Things that affect your kids will get cut. Maybe your kid was getting speech therapy twice a week, and now it's only going to be once or not at all. Or maybe your busing will get cut. Or the one club or class or sport that your kid actually likes at H.S. and seems to be keeping his interest in school at all will get cut. Or class size will go up.

So as a parent, you can go vote No, out of some higher-level philosophy that the whole system is too much.

Or you can go vote Yes, take the tax increase (which will also bring $ in from every other household in town, including those not using the schools) and try to maintain the status quo of programs. That's all parents are trying to do when they vote Yes, maintain status quo.
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