Posted by David N Gentile at 6/22/2016 12:00:00 PM
Governor Chris Christie’s Speech On The Fairness Formula As Prepared For Delivery
Hillsborough, New Jersey
June 21, 2016
I would like to thank Governor Christie for his recent recognition of our District’s achievement in surpassing the State’s graduation requirement during his school funding speech. A compliment from the Governor is truly an honor, and our community appreciates it. With flat funding for the six years I have served as the District’s superintendent, we have made difficult decisions in every budget season. We have cut, on average, three million dollars annually. Each year, our class sizes increase, we are forced to cut programs and we must find creative ways to do more with less. Many of our students come to us burdened with the problems that living in poverty engenders. Unsafe neighborhoods, unpredictable homes, hunger, physical and mental health issues are obstacles to their learning. Their parents are consumed with the challenge of survival and struggle just to provide them with the basic necessities. There may not be time or energy for read-alouds and homework help. Our schools have become safe havens for our families. We have adopted the vision to be “World Class” and our staff accepts nothing short of that for our students. Their efforts are paying off with higher graduation rates and other positive outcomes. Some results are not apparent if you only look at the data - the smiling faces of our students, a hug given in appreciation for the teacher who went above and beyond for a child, the bonds that develop between staff and families. We are not a rich community, but we are a proud community. Governor, before you make any decision to further reduce our funding, please consider your own words, “there are exceptions.” Millville is on the right track, but we can’t continue to make progress with flat or reduced funding. Thank you for recognizing our District!
David N. Gentile, Ed. D.