February 28, 2018

Out of Control Costs at PPS, Others Will Be a Top Voter Interest Issue


To the Editor:

I read with great interest the recent letter in Town Topics on the Board of Ed Facilities Referendum authored by Sheila Siderman of Princeton. Her overall assessment that “it is actually a vote on major changes to our educational system “ is right on point. PLUS, the PPS Board plans to embed their envisioned educational system firmly into the facilities to be constructed incident to the referendum’s approval. Their initial justification for the facilities as critically needed to meet enrollment growth has become a Trojan Horse for seminal changes in the local education system now being advanced.

These concerns are compounded by questions regarding the enrollment growth projections themselves and the available measures to control or even reduce growth, including the related costs to accommodate. The best example is the Cranbury High School sending district’s underfunding of PPS tuition costs by over $1 million each year, plus not being required to contribute to bond issues for renovations or expansion.

I have been involved in job-related education, training, scholarships, and internships in New Jersey since the 80s and with both public and private education Boards and Commissions since first elected to the PPS Board in the early 90s. There were many intervening turbulent times both programmatically and funding-wise. In my view, the soaring, out-of-control costs and other issues related to PPS and other educational institutions in Princeton will be a top voter interest issue in 2018. It’s the most troubling period I’ve observed in 30 years.

John Clearwater,

Governors Lane