May 20, 2015

With a Surplus of Money Revealed, Why Does Board Refuse to Settle?

To the Editor;

We are writing with regard to the contract dispute between the Princeton Board of Education, and the teacher’s union (PREA). Now that the mediation has failed to deliver a contract, and the parties will move to fact finding, the shield of confidentiality is gone. We urge the Board of Education to communicate with the public and let us know the reason for the failure of a resolution. It is our understanding from the public Board of Education meetings, that the Princeton Public Schools have a surplus of money — well in excess of the approximately $400,000 that the PREA is seeking to fairly resolve the contract matter. This was surprising to learn, because since last fall, the Board has maintained that while they honor and respect teachers, they simply don’t have the resources to pay them. Now that these resources have come to light, what is the Board’s reason for not moving forward and settling this contract?

The recent “swatting events” in several of the schools have reminded us that there are people who may intend to do harm to our children. Every day, we leave our children in the care of teachers knowing that they will do their best to look after them. Isn’t it time we look after our teachers and give them a contract, so they can focus on our number one priority, our children? Because not only have our teachers been affected by this contract turmoil, so too have our children. Some school activities, led voluntarily by teachers, have been drastically changed or canceled, altering our children’s education experience. The Board’s lack of leadership has resonated throughout the community. Enough is enough.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation spread throughout the community as to why this contract matter has not yet been resolved. We are hoping to facilitate a public forum before the end of the school year, to give members of the community the opportunity to ask questions and get answers on this issue that is so vitally important to Princeton.

Jonathan and Carrie Besler,

Dempsey Avenue

Debbie Bronfeld, Dafna Kendal

Dodds Lane

Krissi Farrimond,

Michelle Mews

Nadia Di Gregorio,

William Livingston Court