I have been keenly following the developments over the past few years that led to the school referendum in Monroe. I have served on various school voluntary committees including most recently on the ad-hoc finance committee. As a resident of our wonderful township, I fully support this much-needed referendum.
On March 13, we will have an opportunity to either approve a $68.8 million dollar referendum to address the increasing need for a new middle school or kick the can down the road by voting no. I fully understand the need for a comprehensive plan to expand the elementary, middle and high schools; however, the immediate need is for the middle school.
Overcrowded classrooms, overflowing parking lots, congested traffic, increased student-teacher ratio and classes held in the corridors are all common occurrences. I applaud the teachers, students and the administration for keeping things in check while the school over its capacity.
Eight trailers are already ordered for the next school year and more will be needed each following year. The cost of renting these trailers are not recoverable and they don’t provide us with a long-term solution.
I urge all our community members to vote in support of this referendum on March 13.
I also would like to mention the community is looking for a long-term solution to our overcrowded district. Approximately 3,000 new students, over its intended capacity, are projected in the next five years. Plans to address this must start now.
The urgency for an addition to the high school and a new elementary school are just as important at the middle school. The community expects that, immediately following the middle school referendum, the district will start its work towards the elementary and high schools. Please be aware that with each passing year, construction cost of these facilities go up by an average of 5 percent each year.
The Board of Education, the ad-hoc committee and the community volunteers have been successful in bringing additional funds to the district last year; while this $458,000 in additional funding is only a small amount for our needs, working with the elected officials, this amount will increase in the coming years up to $5 million. The Finance Committee will continue to explore additional opportunities to bring state funds to our districts.
Our children deserve better education, our teachers deserve better facilities and our community deserve a stronger school system for a stronger community. Please vote “yes” on March 13.
Anand (Andy) Paluri
Better Education for Monroe