Ridgefield Park School District faces layoffs

Posted: Updated:
Ridgefield Park School District faces layoffs Ridgefield Park School District faces layoffs
RIDGEFIELD PARK -

Another New Jersey school district is facing layoffs due to a lack of funding.

Financial problems in Ridgefield Park means that dozens of school employees could lose their jobs.

Ridgefield Park Education Association Union President David Tadros says that the job cuts would impact 70 staffers, but no teachers. Those staff members include teachers’ aides, lunch aides, secretaries and custodial workers.

A state monitor assigned to the district approved the budget Monday. Ridgefield Park was $2.5 million over budget.

"It’s the kids’ education that's suffering right now because of the lack of funding,” says Tadros.

Superintendent of Schools Eric Koenig says teachers' aides and custodial positions will be filled in within the district, just through a third-party contractor. The district expects to save about $1.98 million next year by privatizing those positions.

"The board of education and administration is doing all it can to maintain our staffing for our students,” Koening says.

Koening says that the district has had flat state funding for the past eight years.

“We have a 2 percent cap on the tax levy and when you are that limited on the revenues that you have to spend coming into the district, you eventually have to make cuts,” he says.

Tadros says that he is not on board with privatizing the positions being eliminated.

“The custodians and secretaries work with the students indirectly but the teachers' assistants effects the kids’ lives and that's where it's going to hurt the most.  Especially with kids with special needs,” he says.

A final decision on the school district's budget, along with the impending job cuts, will be made in a few weeks.

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