Oh the fun when the Margate Commissioners invite public comment. 3 minutes to say anything. No questions, please. Better make your point quick, too. Keep an eye on that countdown clock. Loud buzzer gonna cut you off. Next…..
Snickers. Groans. Occasionally a smile. Biting facts, figures…. some wrapped in silly snark. Commissioners giggle nervously. They know Margate resident, John Sewell, often throws serious light on uncomfortable facts and figures. The financial underbelly of Margate.
Sewell is a fiscal conservative. Protecting taxpayers is job #1. Sewell believes Margate Mayor, Mike Becker, should be one too.
NOTE: Margate’s form of government allows Mayor Becker to control most critical parts of municipality, school district and zoning board. Dude wields mucho power. Virtually, complete control. Margate Mayor, Michael Becker, is the man. Don’t ever forget that.
Resident Sewell regularly addresses Commissioners during the public comment. Sewell never tires of mentioning how much Margate taxpayers are overpaying… per pupil… per year.
- 2 half-empty schools for 350 students.
- $30,000+. Margate has some of the highest costs per pupil in Atlantic County.
- Margate pays some of the highest K to 8 teachers’ salaries in the county.
Margate has 4th highest school salaries in the entire state of NJ.
Margate has dubious honor of ranking #4 out of 616 NJ school districts….for highest salaries.
Sewell: 50% of basic math students in 8th grade can’t meet minimum math expectations. An absolute disgrace.
HIGH COST OF LOW GRADES. Margate citizen feedback from John Sewell: Last year, 44% of Margate 8th graders didn’t meet minimum expectations in BASIC MATH. It’s getting worse. This year, 8th grade BASIC MATH had 50% of students…unable to meet minimum math expectations.
NJ Gov. Murphy moving forward on plan to eliminate 300 school districts.
If / when NJ school districts are consolidated, what schools would be merged or eliminated? 300, including Brigantine, Margate and Ventnor.
NJ Senate President Sweeney leading charge on school consolidation. Watch video.
Sweeney: ‘The goal is to eliminate the administration, put a principal in the school, get rid of the school district, leave a principal, let the regional high school become a K-12 district’
Sweeney said: ‘You go from 600 districts to 320.’ Merge all K-4, K-5, K-6, K-8, and K-9 school districts into K-12 regional districts.
Video: Downbeach School Consolidation Coming.
Brigantine, with 500 students, consolidated their two schools this year. Whereas Margate leadership still dragging it’s feet.
Becker, Amodeo and Blumberg OK with 2 half-empty buildings for a total of 350 students.
Financially foolish. But hey, the Margate schools employ many voters, family and friends…. if you catch my drift.
NOTE: Margate school board still doesn’t record and post their meeting audio to the city website.