Palisades Park parents say their children’s schools are overcrowded by ‘out-of-towners’

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A group of parents in Palisades Park claims that out-of-towners have overrun the school system, causing overcrowded in the town’s schools.

“We are demanding. We want an answer. We want a solution,” says mother Neris Papoters.

Parents and students say that children are coming from towns like Fort Lee, Hackensack and Ridgefield. The students say that class sizes are often at 30 students and that it is too crowded in the hallways.

“By the time you reach your locker you might be late and you have to go to attendance and get a late pass,” says student Camilarey Noso.

And the extra students may not just be coming from towns in Bergen County. There are some claims that parents are driving their children across the George Washington Bridge every day from New York to attend the Palisades Park schools.

News 12 New Jersey asked school Superintendent Joseph Cirillo about the claim, and he said that it was the first time that he had heard it.

“We see in the morning how they come from that side and New York plates,” says Papoters.

Papoters took a petition with over 500 signatures to Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting. The petition requests that the district hires a registration investigator.

Cirillo said in a statement, "I recommend a re-registration of all students in the district. It's something that has to happen and it should happen."

The superintendent says that this could happen within the next few weeks. But parents say that they fear that the town has a reputation of being easy to get into because there are not enough checks and balances.

The school board will decide on March 18 if it will pay someone to weed out the outsiders.

Palisade Park voters turned down a referendum in November that would have upgraded and expanded all three schools. It would've cost the average homeowner an extra $31 per month. Cirillo says he’s talking with the township about bringing it up for another vote soon.

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