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August  27

Does This Mean No More Car Washes?

See what happens when you don't open your mail? You get scooped by that darned Phil Read over at the Star-Ledger again. Read breaks the story that's been sitting in a manila envelope on a table in our living room for, sheesh, about a week. Glen Ridge is now charging a $200 a year fee for students to participate in after-school activities. Or as Read puts it:

For about $200, you could get a pair of tickets to Brooke Shields' opening night debut in Broadway's hit musical revival "Wonderful Town."

At Glen Ridge High School, it could be your ticket to the, well, Chess Club.

In his letter (the one we didn't open), schools super Dan Fishbein points out that 20 years ago, the state paid for 24 percent of the school budget, and that now that's fallen to 5 percent.

No doubt this activity fee will make taxpayers without kids in the district happy. It's also a bonus for families with kids who are complete slackers. Here's an economic incentive to have your kid loiter around the arcade, set off firecrackers, bully little kids or go smoke pot in the basement. Those activities are all free!

Meanwhile, Glen Ridge High School this week took the 15th spot on NJ Monthly's annual list of the best 75 high schools in New Jersey. Glen Ridge usually ranks in the top 10, has placed as high as 4th. Montclair and Bloomfield didn't make the top 75.

August 27, 2004 in Scooped by Phil Read, Again | Permalink


Dudette Barista--don't know where you went to high school, but where I went the pot wasn't free.

But, hey, if you're giving it out...

Posted by: MiloG | Aug 27, 2004 10:46:50 AM

I think the term 'Extra-Curricular' may have some import here.

While it is the duty of the taxpayer to educate your and my children, is it their likewise duty to keep them entertained as well?

"economic incentive" for your children not to be slackers? While I am the first to promote the advantages of the Free Market System I draw the line at the behavior of my children!

Properly raised children SHOULDN'T NEED economic incentive to prevent bad behavior!

Posted by: Right of Center | Aug 27, 2004 11:34:57 AM


It seems the B-Lady quite literally wants a 'Nanny' State.

Posted by: Right of Center | Aug 27, 2004 11:37:53 AM

Extra-curricular stuff out this way has been ever-increasingly the province of the PTO, who take up the slack as programs get eliminated in response to decreases in state funding.

The difference being that even people who aren't in the PTO (a small minority here) still get the benefit.

Posted by: The Prop | Aug 27, 2004 11:59:27 AM

So, since this is a de facto school tax, is it a Schedule A item?

Posted by: MiloG | Aug 27, 2004 1:47:56 PM

Complete slackers? Well, I'm from Bloomfield, so maybe I'm out of line responding, but by your definition my son is a "complete slacker" because he's not in any clubs or extra curric activities. However, he does work after school 15 hours each week and is involved in a municipal youth committee, for fundraising and public awareness for a ramp park that will be built in conjunction with the Recreation Department and the Bloomfield Municipal Youth Guidance Council.

Hardly a slacker, even though he does not toss a football or write for the school paper... I really take offense at that characterization.

Posted by: GC | Aug 27, 2004 8:14:08 PM

I heartily congratulate the Glen Ridge district for doing this.

Posted by: Fausta | Aug 28, 2004 8:40:55 AM

Why? Poor kids who depended on extracurricular activities to get college scholarships will now have not even that. It's another wedge into the gap between the haves and have-nots. This might not be quite as big a problem in a district like Glen Ridge, but as it ripples outward, we're going to find ourselves faced with what to do with increasing numbers of the undereducated and un(der)employed. By saving a few hundred dollars per student, we'll end up spending a few hundred thousand over their lifetimes.

Posted by: Alison Meyer | Aug 28, 2004 9:42:40 PM

Who knew?

The chess club is your ticket to future success!

Posted by: Right of Center | Aug 29, 2004 12:07:14 PM

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