To the Editor:
Why should Princeton taxpayers have to pay for an expansion of Princeton High School to accommodate a growing Cranbury student population? I was astounded when the Board of Education expressed int rest in purchasing the Westminster Choir College, approved hiring an architectural group for referendum planning, and later entered a bid to purchase Westminster.
It is clear that the BOE has no problem spending taxpayer money and is happy to consider a new bond referendum just as we are finally paying off the current bonds. The BOE President stated that we have a “tremendous capacity to borrow” another Board member gave the analogy of “starting a new car lease when your old one ends”. How come we are not considering giving the taxpayers a break and resisting the urge to issue new bonds?
The Cranbury “sending” agreement will expire at end of the 2019/2020 school year. It is irresponsible of Princeton to be ignoring the impact of the 280+ Cranbury students at Princeton High School. Rather than looking to acquire another building, we should be considering not renewing the 10-year agreement, which would immediately solve most of our student enrollment issue at the high school.
The agreement with Cranbury started in 1990, at that time they only had 107 high school students. Today they have over 280 students at Princeton High School and they are projecting considerable growth in the next 20 years. According to the Cranbury Township Master Plan (adopted in April of 2016): “Cranbury has grown by 54.3% between 1990 and 2010” and “The NJTPA projects that the Township’s population and employment will increase by 23.8% and 48.4%, respectively, from 2010 to 2040. In addition, households will increase by 37.9% during this period.”
This is a critical point — the Cranbury agreement is ending just as the current bond service is ending. The $5 million loss of revenue from Cranbury will be offset in a decrease of $5 million in debt service, plus the expenses related to the Cranbury students that are not covered by tuition. The initial Cranbury agreement might have solved a short term need, but was not a good decision for the long term needs of Princeton. The decision to renew the Cranbury agreement cannot be an emotional one, it needs to be a financially responsible and sustainable decision made with the input from all taxpayers, not just the BOE.
Parent of Kids in PPS