I can’t support Paterson’s 2020-21 school budget. Here’s why. | Paterson Times

I can’t support Paterson’s 2020-21 school budget. Here’s why.


The essence of my fight for at least the past 12 years has been the illegal underfunding of our school district by the state of New Jersey. This isn’t a jab to the current governor Phil Murphy. He wasn’t here when it all began. I’m sure he knows about it.

Back then, former governor Chris Christie schemingly devised a way to mix up equality with equity. It worked. He was able to flat fund school districts, including Abbott districts like Paterson. Over time, we were faced with unprecedented financial challenges and shortfalls. I was one of many throughout the state who made frequent trips to Trenton to speak up and fight for our city’s schools. Through the years, I continued to keep the community abreast as to what was happening in terms of funding.

I take issue with this current budget for many reasons but specifically because it does not represent a thorough and efficient education for our children. I don’t blame Eileen Shafer or her cabinet. She’s doing the best she can, but politics seems to rule. I know the downfalls we face are a direct result of the state’s illegal funding of the district. There is no denying that. But to be placed up against the wall for being illegally underfunded is flat out wrong.

When I first took office in 2012, I made a promise to the Paterson community that I would fight for them. After a brief few years, the Paterson community decided to bring me back. They didn’t bring me back to suddenly turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the glaring inequities we face. Not to mention the 14% tax increase. No matter which way you slice it, this isn’t the time to raise taxes on an already cash strapped community. Not even ONE RED CENT. We need to revisit the restructuring of the high schools. Why is it that teachers are always placed on the chopping block when budget time approaches?

In fighting on behalf of teachers I also fight on behalf of students. We entrust our children to the teachers daily. We should be concerned with making sure they have the right amount of support to carry out their duties on a daily basis. I know, I make many unpopular decisions and I’ll continue to do so. I am here to be a voice for our children and as a result, our wonderful educators. I’m not here to join any club. I’m here to advocate for US.

Written by school board member Corey Teague.

  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    Oshun Castillo has 4 different gubment jobs. 4 paychecks, 4 pensions, for an incompetent hack who should be scrubbing toilets in the schools not running the corrupt and inept School Board. Christie could have gave Paterson a billion and nothing would have changed, the schools would still suck and the city would still be the shit hole that it is. The people in charge are all corrupt idiots. The only people dumber than these clowns are the morons who continue to vote them into office.

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    Bravo Mr Teague ! You failed the real reason for the crisis. The Charters. They are corrupt, have crooked book keeping, pad bills, own vendors who jack up prices, they own the building that charge themselves rent(at inflated rates well above market value), north jersey dot com did a whole expose on them. Their directors create their own salaries at or above Ms Shafer's. They are sitting on millions in surplus. Have an economic impact report and make the charters open their books.

  • Miss jamaica

    Corey I believe in you, promise that you will get rid of charter schools here in Paterson, they are not working, invest more money in our public schools.
    In all honesty our public schools are doing great, I also believe in our superintendent.
    Get rid of the charter and save the Paterson tax payers.

  • Justice Forall

    The Paterson Public schools are failing not because of a lack of state funding but for a myriad of other reasons, some financial and some societal. Any increase in funding from the state would likely be expended in the same way as a considerable portion of the budget is now and without any real benefit to students. The Board would do a service to its young constituents by closely examining each department and outside contract for over staffing, lack of accountability, over reaching, and political favoritism, and move to rid itself of those expenses. Moreover, the Board must loudly and repeatedly call upon and challenge all of the parents and citizens of Paterson to become actively involved in the public schools thereby transmitting the need for and the value of education to each other and to their children and all of Paterson’s children.