As students are heading back to Mahwah schools for the second half of the school year, Patch wants to know what you think is the most important issue facing Mahwah schools in the new year.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Karen Lake called three issues facing the district “paramount.”
First, the board of education and Mahwah Education Association teachers’ union said they “made progress” at a face-to-face December contract-negotiation meeting. Though the two sides did not reach an agreement, Board President Tricia Shada said she was “optimistic” about a meeting scheduled for later this month. The Mahwah teachers union has been working under an expired contract since 2010. Teachers have protested before school, and started job actions last month, like not offering lunchtime extra help. Job actions were temporarily suspended after the last negotiation meeting.
Second, the board is searching for a new Superintendent. Dr. Charles Montesano retied from the district’s top spot at the end of the last school year. After an unsuccessful search, the district hired Dr. Karen Lake as an interim in the position. Lake said finding a new superintendent was one of the main goals of the Mahwah school system this year.
Third, the district will soon begin putting together its 2012-2013 operating budget, which the community will vote on in the spring. Last year, the school budget, which raised taxes about 1.66 percent over the previous school year, was approved by about 60 percent of voters. The board needs to once again approve and put out for public vote a budget that falls within the state mandated two-percent tax cap.
Do you agree with Superintendent Dr. Lake? What do you feel is the most important issue facing Mahwah schools in 2012?