Edison Board of Education to sue Township of Edison
By: Chris Ann Wright, Esq.
Edison Board of Education plans to sue the Township of Edison for overcrowding. D’Elia, Gianluca, “N.J. town is getting so big, its school district says it’ll sue to stop “overcrowding crisis”, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. The Township of Edison has seen the number of children in their public school system increase by 1,300 students over the last three years. Id. Basically, the Board says it just can’t keep up with the demand for building and classroom space. Id. The Edison Public Schools are overcrowded which is impacting the work environment and the students’ ability to learn. Id. Many have started to ask the question “Is it time to slow down real estate growth due to its impact on the existing infrastructure i.e. roads, buildings and schools?”
It’s no secret that two different boards within a local government can have competing interests. The town council is considering tax revenue, roads, parks and senior citizen services, to name a few. The Board of Education is attempting to educate all the children in the town based on limited resources. On one hand, more housing means more tax revenue and more voters, yet more families living in town also means more strain on municipal services and more children attending school. It’s a double edged sword. Municipalities want their town to be a great place to live. They want to provide a safe and clean environment where people can safely raise their families. Yet, if the town grows too quickly, entities like the Board of Education can’t keep up.
Frank Belluscio, communications director at the New Jersey School Boards Association, was interviewed for this article. Id. He stated that it was important for municipalities and school boards to communicate about the impact of real estate development on the entire town. Id. “Both the school district and municipality have limited resources—state aid is limited, local revenue growth is constrained by the tax-levy cap, and property taxpayers are often overburdened,” stated Belluscio. Id. When various boards within a community do not communicate it’s the taxpayers that suffer.
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