Committee will shape schools’ future

Millstone residents should take the opportunity that the school board is offering to participate in the recently formed ad hoc Referendum Planning Committee.

With conditions in the schools growing worse every year, overcrowding in the Millstone school system is not going away any time soon.

Inevitably, school officials need to create more space for the students. In the fall, township voters are likely to see the largest construction referendum in the township’s history put forth by the school board.

Voters will probably have to decide whether or not to authorize the school district to incur millions of dollars in debt to build a new middle school.

Until a permanent solution, such as building a new school or expanding the existing schools — which does not seem likely due to space constraints on both sites — can be found, the school district will have to bring in six trailers to house students.

Because no parents want to see their children attend class in a temporary classroom outside the school building, becoming a part of the committee that is working to remedy this situation would make sense.

Although 112 residents signed up for the committee and completed the informational survey, only about 40 people turned up for the first of three meetings that the school board plans to hold on the topic. The second and third meetings will be held Jan. 21 and Feb. 6 in the elementary school cafetorium. Both meetings will run from 8-10 p.m.

According to school officials, the committee will undertake the important task of matching specific dollar amounts to many of the district’s facilities goals. The work that committee will do will not only have an impact on the school district’s programs and educational quality in the future, but on Millstone’s tax rate for years to come.

As Schools Superintendent Dr. William Setaro pointed out, the board is offering the community every opportunity to help shape this plan. Anyone who does not take advantage of the opportunity to have his or her voice heard now, before a dollar amount has been attached to the project, should think twice about complaining about the project voters will be asked approve.