A Tale of Two Education Systems: A New Jersey Story
We see it time and again in our low-income/high minority, inner cities all across the country: public schools, the glue that holds neighborhoods together, are shuttered or flipped to charters, which don't take every child who arrives at their front door.
But not so in mostly wealthy, mostly White, suburban America. I live in Hunterdon County, NJ, one of America's wealthiest counties. About 15 minutes down the road from me is the tiny, gorgeously bucolic, rural, Delaware River town of Stockton. With a population of only 516, the median household income is $93,049, it's 96.5% White, and the median house value is $384,200. It's a .
With only 50 students, Stockton Borough School is New Jersey's oldest and smallest school, and the community doesn't want it to close. But because of declining enrollment, it's not exactly cost-effective to keep it open. But, after a packed community forum, former Stockton Borough Board of Education member, David L. Pasicznyk, wrote a letter to the school district:
"As you have undoubtedly noticed at the recent meeting at the Stockton Firehouse, where approximately 100 supporters turned out, the school is the glue that holds our community together. To have that many supporters (over 20-percent of the borough's population) show up at a mid-week evening meeting should be an indicator of the value that we, young and old, place on the school."
Board President Dan Seiter told the audience Monday night that the board had heard the community's wish that the school remain open...
Superintendent Lou Muenker will work to create a committee made up of parents, residents of the entire district, teachers, staff and board members to look at ways to increase enrollment at the school, as well as make recommendations on the best use of the facility in the future. (emphasis mine)Don't get me wrong; I'm happy that the school will remain open at least another year. Hunterdon County has excellent schools, and I'm sure Stockton Borough School is one of them. I'm happy the school board is fulfilling the will of the people who want the very best for their children—and who are paying the bills.
School closings—no matter where they are—are disruptive. But, if you live in wealthy, White America, you stand a better chance of succeeding in keeping your neighborhood Marie Corfield: A Tale of Two Education Systems: A New Jersey Story: