A close friend and colleague of mine recently stated to me that my blogs are too flowery. Like writing about rainbows is too flowery. Please. Well, how about this one- The Blood Moon. That’s right. A Blood Moon associated with war, carnage, Armageddon and, oh, the state’s funding system and formula for school districts.
…And the sun became black as a sack cloth of hair and the moon became like blood.
We had a Blood Moon a few weeks ago although not many saw it- just like people who claim they have seen the mythical state funding formula. Although these claims are not as numerous as those who have, let’s say, seen Bigfoot. O.K. I’m mixing my metaphors. But, let’s keep going…
In either case, being elusive seems to be the common theme. For example, one can see and visualize evidence of the funding system, similar to finding footprints of Bigfoot, but has anyone actually seen one?
When I taught Physics years ago to high school students, things made sense. We studied Newton’s Laws of Motion and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity- equations with quantifiable measurements and outcomes in which logical and verifiable solutions could be explained.
Now, with funding support of school districts, everything appears to be backwards as if in some parallel universe. If you do well, you are given less. If you do poorly, you are given more. So where is the Reward in being a Reward’s School which we are often designated?
Why some school districts like Haddonfield receive little state aid compared to other school districts in the area that receive millions is a mystery that is possibly shrouded somewhere in the mist within the atmosphere high above, transposing, in a sense, through that refractive/reflective red color of light amidst an elaborate environment of gases, air, and carbon dioxide that gives the illusion of the redness upon the moon.
After all, who is going to go to the moon to check it out or to the state to calculate the actual formula?
Remember kaleidoscopes? Depending upon the state’s landscape, climate, and its own political atmosphere of educational funding, much needed support to school districts can change with just a slight adjustment, viewing the horizon and sea where revenue and deficits don’t meet, thus creating an emerging pattern of colors previously unimaginable that don’t form into a beautiful sunset.
One year, Haddonfield received no state aid.
Haddonfield School District, while being ranked as one of the Best School Districts in the state and nation has one of the lowest costs per pupil spending in the state at $12,100 per student when compared to the state average of $18,000 per student and close to $20,000 per student for other J designated school districts.
Yet, Haddonfield has the one of the highest property taxes.
So, what causes this Blood Moon, this emerging pattern of blended colors of light?
Haddonfield Schools are primarily supported by the Tax Levy due to the little state aid that it receives. So, Haddonfield relies mostly on the Borough taxpayers to provide for their school district- all within a 2 percent cap.
Yet, the results, the array of colors of light that we do form as a community- Educational Excellence! That Beautiful Rainbow.
While maintaining one of the lowest cost per pupil spending ratios and being cognizant of the burdens of the Haddonfield Taxpayers, the community and the school district empower Haddonfield Students to excel in academics, athletics, and the arts at the highest levels in which students receive numerous awards, accolades, praises, and championships.
The many victories that are celebrated in the classrooms, on stage, and on the athletic fields are a tribute to the dedication, commitment, and pride that all of us have in the Haddonfield Community for our students’ future, dreams, and accomplishments.
Despite the challenges of state funding, state imposed mandates, and other challenges that often come our way, our students come through every time, rising to the top in each and every endeavor. Because of them, you, and the rest of the Haddonfield Community, their achievements cast a brighter light and an array of colors upon the redness of a Blood Moon turning it back into one of radiance, beauty, and hope.
O.K. it’s flowery again but so what- it works.