Thursday, April 29, 2010

NJ Students Protesting Budget Cuts Cut School To Protest

For the past several days, New Jersey students have been leaving schools around the state to protest budget cuts and Gov. Christie's plans to try and bring fiscal sanity to a state that is sorely in need of it.

The latest bunch of students left classes in Paterson, New Jersey, and some have gotten quite rowdy in the process.
The majority of the students are roaming around the campus, and police have arrived for crowd control. Some students walking down Rosa Parks Boulevard have begun to throw empty trashcans around, at houses and into the street.

The crowd began to splinter, walking down side streets in smaller groups as police have tried to stop them. The students are continuing to walk in the vicinity of the school.

At one point, Co-principal Zatiti Moody came out of the school and yelled at the students, saying they should come inside or get arrested. The order sent kids running away.

Earlier, the crowd walked to the school football field where police closed some gates, penning them in. Many of the students began climbing the gate, which is about 8 feet tall.

Some students are holding signs that read “No budget cuts” while some others left the protest.
Tell me again how throwing trashcans and cutting classes is going to improve student performance? It isn't obviously, and these students have no idea what kind of mess the state is in financially. There's no money, and wishing for money that doesn't exist wont make it happen. Cuts have to happen all around the state because there's no money to fund all manner of programs.

Dozens of students in Cresskill were originally slated to receive suspensions for their walkouts, but administrators decided not to after holding meetings with those students.

Gov. Christie blames the teachers and administrators for letting the students hold these walkouts. The fact is that the parents exercised their rights in voting down 58% of the budgets, most of which contained property tax increases of up to 10% without any manner of cost containment or wage freezes at a time when the private sector isn't creating jobs, providing raises, or the necessary tax base to support state spending at its current levels.

Another bunch of students, this time from Orange, left their classes to protest outside the Orange city hall.
Orange’s Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. expressed support for the students outside of City Hall this morning, but instructed them to go back to school.

“I think you guys said what you came to say,” Hawkins said. “We don’t want to cheapen this moment by not going back to school. This is about your education and your teachers.”

Students started to file back to class just after 11 a.m.

Schools superintendent Ronald Lee said Orange's school budget includes about 40 layoffs, a 4 percent tax increase and no notable effects on instructional or extracurricular programs.
So, if there was no notable effects on instruction or extracurricular programs, what were those 40 people doing on the payroll and how long were they there? 4% is just under the cap previously set by the Corzine Administration to try and get property tax rates under control, but many districts around the state blew through the caps with the greatest of ease.

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