Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Easttown Budget

Facebook Organizes Statewide Walkout of NJ Students in Protest of Proposed Budget Cuts . . . Could this happen in TESD?

Last night was the monthly TESD meeting. Although I have heard a few comments privately, I have not received a formal update. Did any of the readers attend the meeting? Is there any ‘new’ news to report? Speaking of school districts and budgets, a Community Matters reader sent me the following article — apparently today there has been an orchestrated walkout by New Jersey students to protest the planned budget cuts to the school district. Impressive that the students throughout the state were taken a stand against Gov Christie’s budget cuts. Organized completely with the use of Facebook — there should no longer be any doubt about the part that social media is playing with today’s events, issues, etc. Social media methods are changing the way we receive our information and updates; it is changing our future’s history.

New Jersey Students Walkout Over Budget

Thousands of high school students are walking out of class Tuesday to oppose New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s proposed cuts to education. Fox 29’s Steve Keeley reported from Pennsauken High School outside Philadelphia, where students began filing out of the building around 8:00 AM. There are reports of students leaving classrooms throughout the state. In all, about 16,000 students pledged on Facebook to walk out of school between 8 AM and 4 PM.

There also is a confirmed walkout at Rancocas Valley High School in Burlington County. Other schools that could be targeted are Southern Regional High School in Ocean County; Hammonton High School in Atlantic County; and Middle Township High School in Cape May County. In North Jersey, MyFoxNY was at Montclair High School , where students walked out on Tuesday. Keeley says the walkout at his location in Pennsauken is “very orderly.”

The planned protest comes one week after a majority of school budgets were rejected for the first time in 34 years. Voters in 537 districts turned down 59 percent of the budgets. Schools are facing the prospect of layoffs and program cuts. The governor says layoffs would not be needed if teachers take voluntary pay freezes and begin paying part of their health insurance premiums. The Facebook site was organized by Michelle Lauto. The 18-year-old college student went to high school in Bergen County. Lauto has relatives who will be affected by the cuts.

The state’s largest teacher’s union says students are “engaging in civil disobedience” but shouldn’t walk out of classes.

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