“Other problems cited included the district at one point having 42 teachers who had no assigned students and more than $500,000 paid to students in a mentoring program.” That’s from an AC Press report on a newly released audit of the Pleasantville School District, one of New Jersey’s 31 “Abbott Districts” that the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered state government to sink an extra $500 million into back in 2011.
Money well-spent? Apparently not!
According to the auditors, Pleasantville wasted millions through redundant hiring, failing to track enrollment and allotting funds to programs that were never enacted. They also failed to conduct background checks on nearly 100 employees. Lovely.
Pleasantville’s schools are obviously not alone in wasting our money while producing substandard results. We almost wouldn’t care about the waste if the graduates were prepared for a competitive economy. Pleasantville is an Atlantic City suburb, and regular readers will remember how the brain trusts behind that school system spent $20,000 on Ashanti a little while ago.
THIS is why school choice advocates including yours truly become absolutely incensed when the protectors of the education status quo (we’re looking at you, NJEA leadership) cry about money being diverted from public schools for charter schools and voucher programs.
Don’t let any ad, mailer or mouthpieces distort the facts on your watch over the next several weeks. Not only did the most recent state budget include record amounts of state aid for public schools, but frankly, what are we, the taxpayers, supposed to do? Continue trusting a system that fails to serve students, taxpayers AND teachers in equal measure? Or transition to a system where parents, teachers and the dictates of the job market are in the driver’s seat instead of incompetent education bureaucrats, corrupt union chieftains and unelected judges with no constitutional authority to play “let’s make a budget”?
It’s a no brainer for anyone actually using their brain. We all wish more people would. The only solution going forward, however, is to work hard over the next several weeks and elect a Republican State Senate in November that would change the composition of the high court. Right now, with Democrats in charge, it’s a headline-worthy event when one of Chris Christie’s nominees actually receives a hearing. Enough is enough.
The Pleasantville audit needs to serve as a wake-up call for any voter still sleeping (and paying) while the system fails another generation of New Jerseyans. Do your part, Save Jerseyans.