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OPINION: Those in Charge of the Gloucester City School System Are Failing The Students

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
To the surprise of many Gloucester City residents the local Board of Education in December 2020 approved the expenditure of $1.3 million to install a astro-type material on the school's football field and running track. Why did the school need such an expensive upgrade for their football field? The football team plays five home games a season. Since the school opened in 1962, a natural grass field has been sufficient. 
The construction started when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak. A time when local residents were being laid off from their jobs and small businesses were being forced to closed. Six months later in May 2021 that same Board of Education sought bids for installation of field lighting for the football field at the district's Middle School. WHY? There are no elementary football teams and there was no need for the public's tax dollars to be spent on lighting up the field. 

The series of articles written by CNBNews columnist Dorothy Philbin has revealed that every day there are  hundreds of students who don't come to school. Philbin's research has shown too that many students in the City School District just drop out.



With the information provided on the district's webpage, I had to make a very roughly estimated calculation on the absentee numbers and cost. 
  • Cold Springs complex-An estimated 346 students are absent on any given day. 
  • Elementary Middle School- An estimated 123 students are absent on any given day.
  • High school-An estimated 135 students absent on any given day. 
The state of New Jersey is paying nearly $23,000 per student per year.  Again, this is a rough estimate, but we are wasting about $19 million per year on students who just don't come to school. see article


Instead of wasting the public's hard earn tax dollars on expensive football fields the Board of Education and the School Administrators should be looking at ways to solve the excessive absenteeism and school drop out rate.


A recent article that was published by AMAC, (the Association of Mature Citizens), states "America’s schools are failing to teach young learners the basics. Tweens and teens are failing to learn, it’s as simple and as worrisome as that. The proof is in assessments that show too many of our youngsters can’t read, do math and write".


Parents too need to take responsibility for their child, and not allow them to play "hookie" day in and day out. To be more specific, if you see your child is failing get involved don't let him or her continue to slide downward.


The proof is in the facts, those who think that million dollar football fields will fix the  drop out rate and absentee problems in the Gloucester City School District  are just wasting the public's tax dollars.