Rising cost of education is inescapable

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To the editor:

In response to Ms. Janis Hetrick’s March 21 letter, “The sky is not the limit;” I have been an elected Board of Education member since 1984.  Throughout my 29 years of service I have tried to maintain a balance between the educational needs of the students of Egg Harbor Township, as well as the concerns of the taxpaying community. 

Schools have changed drastically in the last decades.  The “Three R’s” are no longer a foundation for today’s education process.  Choices in programming have expanded to include arts, music, a multitude of world languages, gifted and talented programs, as well as a wide array of sports and activities.  When we think we have added as many programs, sports, and activities as possible, parents come to us to petition for more.

Special education programs are among the most expensive programs to run.  Just one child’s individual education plan can be in excess of $200,000.  And our special education numbers have increased dramatically.

 Unfortunately, “state mandate/state pay” often does not come to fruition, leaving the district to come up with the additional money required to be in compliance.

Regarding Ms. Hetrick’s quote:, “the school board has never seen a tax increase it didn’t love,” I would like to advise her that we have cut $2.8 million from the 2013-2014 budget. 

Regarding the $1.77 million in aid we received, the money was not squandered, but held onto to offset this current year’s budget.  Just as individuals cannot escape rising prices on supplies, fuel, and everyday purchases, nor can the Board of Education. 

I must admit that I am insulted by Ms. Hetrick’s statements.  Although I am an elected official, I would like to remind Ms. Hetrick that I have been an unpaid volunteer for 29 years, choosing to dedicate myself to serving the children of Egg Harbor Township.

I would like to personally invite Ms. Hetrick to our bi-weekly public meetings, or better yet, encourage her to run for the Board of Education in the upcoming November election so that she can become part of the solution.

James Galvin, president

Egg Harbor Township

Board of Education

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