All of us who gathered in the Mendham Township Elementary School gym last Thursday certainly learned alot about whether residents of the Chesters and the Mendhams must continue to tolerate the $6.2 million annual subsidy in our tax dollars which is transferred to Washington Township's Central High School every year.
We learned that there are ways to reconfigure our current school district structure in order to establish equity in taxation for our residents and education for our Mendham High School students.
We learned that it is highly unlikely that the New Jersey State Legislature will act to make it possible to change the funding formula for our high school district to a cost per student basis. Simply put, it's up to us to change the inequities.
We learned that the voters of the Mendhams and the Chesters do not need the consent or the support of the West Morris Regional High School District Board of Education to effectuate any change to the configuration of the high school district. Simply put, the WMRHSD Board needs to stay out of the way.
We learned that reconfiguring the school district will not harm the educational quality of our students, but should enhance it by creating an articulated/coordinated curriculum for the Mendhams and Chesters kindergarten through 12th grade.
We learned that there is no need to continue to tolerate the status quo of inequities.
One of the most important things we learned is that it is the voters who will have the final say in any and all changes to the high school district and/or to their local school district. But it is only the elected officials of our towns and our local school boards who can officially ask to move the process forward at this juncture.
Yes, it is really quite simple. It is the voters who will have the final say about the schools which their children attend and about the taxes that they pay. It is the officials elected to our school boards and to our municipal governments who have it within their power to obtain a study which will educate the public and allow their constituents to make an informed decision. It is these elected officials who should not abuse this power by further delaying the process and or substituting their judgment for that of the voters. They need to get the feasibility study done, disseminate it to the public and let the voters decide. It's that simple.
In the end, the voters will have their say - whether they go to the voting booth to choose equity in taxation and education - or they go instead to elect representatives who will stand up for the taxpayers and the children of the Mendhams and the Chesters.
It's really quite simple.