To the Editor:
On April 17 the residents of Princeton will have the opportunity to vote in the annual Board of Education election. This opportunity to approve the annual budget of the Princeton Public Schools, as well as to elect members of the Board of Education, is a privilege that relatively few citizens in the State of New Jersey will have this year. At its February meeting, the Board resisted the transfer of the annual elections to the Fall in large part to preserve the ability of the citizens to continue to vote on the annual budget. A move to the Fall would have eliminated this crucial component of local supervision of public education.
The budget being presented is, once again, a remarkable achievement. It reflects an increase of approximately 1 percent at a time when we face some of the most severe conditions any organization could encounter: our ability to raise income is limited by the state cap on tax increases; on the other hand, many of our largest expenses are out of our control (for example, double digit increases in health care costs and a $4.7 million payment to the Princeton Charter School which we are obliged under state law to raise from taxpayers); and, meanwhile, state aid has been dramatically decreased.
It is a tribute to the hard work of the Administration and the intense oversight by the Finance Committee of the Board for once again presenting a balanced budget that preserves the core educational needs of our outstanding school system. I urge my fellow citizens to come to the polls on April 17 (noon to 9 p.m.).
Charles F. Kalmbach
Chair Finance Committee,
Princeton Board of Education
Orchard Circle, Princeton