Don’t let debate about Princeton High School principal continue to devolve

Dear Editor:

I like Frank Chmiel. My son, a Princeton High School tenth grader, likes Frank Chmiel. I liked the friendly, earnest Chmiel Spiels I’d receive in my inbox every Sunday evening. I like that Mr. Chmiel gave a warbled rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit at the fall pep rally. His strong connection with many, many students and many, many parents is undeniable. That is a critical aspect of a principal’s job, especially important in the wake of the isolation of COVID.

But I also know that connecting with students and parents is only part of a principal’s job and that I have no idea how Mr. Chmiel performed in his other critical areas of responsibility. But the eleven people who do know — the ten members of our board of education and our superintendent, a group that often disagrees vigorously with one another — were unanimous in their conclusion that Mr. Chmiel’s departure was the right step for our district. To me, that’s telling.

We may never know the details of why Mr. Chmiel was placed on leave. New Jersey law strongly protects personnel privacy, as it should. But I have met every member of this board of education and I know several members well, so I can say with confidence that this is a group of ten extraordinarily hard-working volunteers who take their responsibilities to our children, our teachers, our administrators, and our town very seriously. They do this unpaid, unglamorous work because they believe in public education, as do we all.

The recent events surrounding Mr. Chmiel’s departure have caused a good deal of unrest and hard feelings among parents and students in our town. Such strong emotions are not a bad thing — we care because we believe in our town’s extraordinary public schools. But to keep our public schools strong, we need to keep the vitriol in check. If this debate devolves into name-calling — accusations of wokeism on one side and racism on the other — then Princeton risks falling into the same toxic pattern we’ve seen in so many other school board debates around the country. When that happens, there’s one clear loser: public education. One of the core skills our children learn in school is to treat each other civilly and disagree respectfully, no matter the intensity of their emotions. For the good of our district, I hope we all remember that lesson.

Jane Manners


  1. It is hard not to conclude that this letter is, in effect, the school board, through a surrogate, preparing the community for decisions/news that will prove extraordinarily unpopular and pleading for clemency in advance. I wish them luck.

  2. Thank you!!!Finally someone with sense!!!. The amount of disrespect that I’ve seen displayed from some of my neighbors regarding this matter ,is nothing short of nauseating! Then said neighbors turn around and demand respect and transparency in return. If it’s not BASELESS protests , it’s the yard signs being posted all over the neighborhood demanding BOA, Dr. Kelley and other members of the administration step down. If that’s not enough, the idea that this behavior is somehow racially motivated is now being tossed around. All with , the very limited information that the BOA and Dr. Kelley have been allowed to share publicly . I’m all for protesting and standing up for a cause , but in this situation, I feel like people aren’t being smart about it and I’m afraid that’s where credibility and respect will be lost..
    Come on, Princeton!! We are better than this!

  3. Civility is important. However, let’s not sacrifice the quality of our children’s education because we are afraid to have uncomfortable conversations. If people believe we are sacrificing educational excellence for an “equity” agenda, that’s an important and uncomfortable conversation we need to have. If supporters of Dr. Kelley think criticism of her decisions are rooted in racism, those concerns should be voiced and addressed. If parents believe a Board of Ed with no Asian representation has an agenda that is biased against Asian students and dismissive of Asian parents, then we need to talk about that. If we do not have these conversations in the open, they will simply happen behind closed doors, the pain will fester and the Princeton community will suffer. Let’s be willing to have the uncomfortable conversations we need to have in a civil way. We are talking about our children’s future.

  4. I’m not a member of the board and I don’t know them, I’m quite new to Princeton with two kids in secondary education and from what I hear and see, I believe that Princeton is hacked by a handful of Cranbury parents, who shout at this town elected board members, are occupying as much space as they can, are verbally abusive and even verbally violent during board meetings, have public meltdowns about whatever they can pick up, for instance, lately, an employee put on leave, as if their lives were dependent on it, some of them keen to show off strangely close relationships with a principal that I personally absolutely don’t know and don’t want or need to know about, and who himself rightfully, does not want to waive his guaranteed right to privacy. So if my understanding is correct, it means that this person does NOT want a public debate about his private life, which is not difficult to understand. and should be respected……..seriously …..what’s going on ????
    Note that this employee also has his own lawyers and is appealing, as it his his legal right.
    After all, Cranbury has it really good, and they can make fun of us all here….It appears that Cranbury pays roughly half the cost (if not less), for each of their high school student, the other half is on us all in Princeton, and wait….they have several hundreds of high school students at Princeton high. Do the math.
    Maybe they should open their own high school, recruit whomever they’d like, pay their fair share for their kids education, thus letting us go about our business, without such January 6 style obstruction of the board meeting, and weaponizing students’ disagreement or youth instincts of revolt against power, and yes, they are expressing at times more or less flagrant racist views. Some of these Cranbury parents are trying to actively recruit Princeton parents (a handful too, but still…), online, through various methods, outright lies and outrageous accusations, pretending that there is no more calculus at PHS while their own kids attend calculus classes, spreading fear that Princeton High is not rated as well as before anymore, and many other bizarre, highly questionable statements. Seriously????
    While our high school is seriously overcrowded, why are we continuing to pay several millions a year for a wealthy municipality, not even in the same county, whose people are coming to heinously bite us and obstruct our own democratic processes and basic functioning? what special interests are at play exactly?

    1. Yeah, this is a little wide of the mark, I’d say. There are more than a few folks (in fact, literally thousands, it would seem–let that sink in) who disapprove of one or more of a) the superintendent’s mysterious and dubious decision to terminate Mr. Chmiel, b) the school board’s out-of-touch and, frankly, arrogant, behavior in the wake of this misstep, and c) the general approach of the superintendent and the hand-picked minions she seeks to insert into the system. In short, Cranbury ain’t the half of it. Not even close.

      1. Cranbury is leading this charge. And yeah it was a mistake to renew the agreement. Why shouldn’t they build their own high school and let whomever they want to run it? The BOE is arrogant = because they aren’t sharing information that they LEGALLY cannot share. How do people lose all sense ?would you all like it if your employer shared things about your employment. But it is strange how a certain group of adults both Princeton and Cranbury have such a close relationship with a high school principal. Where did he find the time to develop and nurture these relationships? What else wasn’t he doing ? This is a popularity contest and Frank Chmiel is the prom king and Carol Kelly is the girl who didn’t get asked to the prom.

    2. While the math doesn’t support the theory that Cranbury parents are driving this bus (thousands of petition signers, only a few hundred Cranbury PHS parents), “Math” is a key part of the debate over Dr. Kelley’s agenda, which involves reducing accelerated tracking in favor of “equity”. These practices limit opportunities for higher performing students, many of whom are Asian, and supporters of Dr. Kelley’s equity agenda cite research with an arguably anti-Asian bias (i.e. “Despite the Best Intentions”, Lewis & Diamond). It is also troubling to see the trope-laden characterizations of the parents who are speaking out, and it is concerning for a BOE with no Asian representation to be so dismissive of feedback from Asian parents. We have some of the highest costs per student in the country, with that investment shouldn’t we be striving to help each kid reach their full potential?

    3. Since you are new to Princeton you might not know that there was an effort a few years ago to cancel the sending agreement with Cranbury and most members of BOE who are still there voted to continue it despite significant community opposition.

    4. you’re seriously comparing the recent board meeting to Jan 6th?

      And stop with the racism comparison. No one is unhappy with Dr Kelley because of her skin color. It’s because of her decision making. She’s the one sitting in the captains chair.

  5. Thank you Georges, that is certainly a very good question. To go beyond my friends and neighbors recollection, I Took a few hours to read part of the minutes and articles related to the renewal of the Cranbury agreement. It does seem indeed that the former president of the board, who spearheaded that vote years ago, is the same member who now laments the overcrowding at PHS and the projected rise in attendance. That is very weird. Not sure what that means though. the former board has also expressed (not every member is the same, not every member voted yes), to a member of the city council that they would favor senior housing instead of family housing, while they were at the same time it seems in the process of forcing that vote on Cranbury, without even providing the required documents on time . Very weird too. So not true for everybody again, but in a nutshell, some wanted cranbury families at our -considerable expense,
    Probably several pourcentage points of real estate taxes, but they don’t want Princeton families, In approximately the same numbers btw. and to a much lesser cost for all of us. Not sure what it means again.
    We should certainly demand that this agreement is made public in the first place.
    On equity, sorry folks if it didn’t come to your attention yet, equity is the law of the land …since the signing of the constitution? Or the end of the civil war? Or the civil rights laws?
    Pick your date….be on the right side of history.
    Please don‘t racialise and abuse and divide young students, insulting them today and in a way insulting their future, around prejudice and even fantasy, and let them all try and find their own way, including but not only , through excellence in math, if it is where a child shines, however they look like, and don’t ridiculously forget that it is precisely the current superintendent story. Equity is the only way to excellence, otherwise whose excellence is it? An affirmative action for white males??? open your eyes. There are children who have physical disabilities, or learning differences, or who are neurodivergent, who have lost a family member, some children experience abuse, others sometimes go through temporary but insurmountable difficulties for whatever reason etc….They all need kindness, respect, support, attention and they also need to feel valued in school, where they go and live everyday.
    Don’t fall for a fantasy that turns the reality upside down. Review of the math curriculum was demanded by white parents, and white members of the board, years ago, initiated by the former superintendent – a white male, and not a math buff at all apparently – the new superintendent has been a math teacher , a math supervisor and earlier in her life an engineering major at an Ivy League university, she has worked at Bell labs, very rare accomplishments for a woman of her generation. The strong hypothesis if you are not sexist, not racist, is that, contrary to her predecessor, she knows what she is talking about when it comes to math classes and curriculum. Previous director of curriculum was also a white male, in his eighties, sleeping on camera through zoom meetings….why????named by the former white male superintendent. Didn’t see any complaint from that time.
    Nobody knows who signs a petition. Cranbury people should disclose their interest. and students should not sign the same petition than adults.
    The former principal did complain about the academic level at each and every meeting, and seemed to put the best of his time and energy to go and work on promoting himself, of course he seemed accessible to some students, and they have no idea why he has been let go. I do not either. What I know is that the school administration was quite chaotic, not really heard from him about anything uplifting on the common lived experience and concrete vision for the youth in his care, beyond banalities (I’m not a fan of spirit T shirts).
    can’t understand why cranbury wants that principal and no other? The new interim is a woman, yes, super skilled and experienced too, we are just blessed and very lucky to be able to recruit this kind of people. So Cranbury should recruit the former principal for their brand new high school. No doubt that he will favor a stellar math curriculum there! And we should let them know they can shout and obstruct their own board meetings as much as they want. Their racism and sexism is in plain sight, and repeatedly so.
    By any means we should look for ways to regain our autonomy and rights in Princeton, dissolve this agreement that has been forced through our throat and our purse.

  6. Cranbury is certainly a big-picture issue. But it’s not the issue here. Not sure where this bizarre obsession is coming from.

  7. The superintendant, Dr. Kelley, responds to the state, the union, the board, the entire staff and the teachers and administrators’ community at PHS, and she’ll be held accountable and have to articulate her reasons legally. Administrators at PHS from all races have publicly expressed their support of the board.
    It is either ridiculously naive to think that she can do whatever she wants without cause, or more than disingenuous if one understands a little bit of the general workings of an administration and its governing body.
    She has the unanimous support of the board, a good chunk of them being lawyers, (including the Cranbury representative), the president a specialist of compliance, one other member a specialist of municipal employment, they all seem to follow the rules by the letter, they also let everybody express themselves while they can’t legally respond. sorry, but the pressure should be on him to make his case publicans explain in what way he was a terrific administrator. This question looks like a racial hate question because some most vocal people at the forefront of the revolt after the former principal’s dismissal did show off their hate towards the superintendent much before, and they simply do not have and never had any concrete argument. they just think they can exploit an event that is in itself regrettable of course, but maybe the professional behavior of the employee could have been regrettable, right? who knows? The lawyers will talk. A principal has enormous administrative duties, and the size of their smile will not do. I don’t hear anything in favor of the former principal having accomplished all his duties and responsibilities well, and he doesn’t himself even say that. What has he accomplished, what has he not accomplished? why would he want to stay if he has lost the superintendent’s trust (he serves at the superintendant pleasure, isn’t he?) and didn’t recognize her authority? So this is a matter of process, it has not escaped most Princeton’s parents that there is simply no other apparent substance to this made up revolt than racial hatred. We’d better look at all this more seriously, reclaim our school, where in fact our children’s experience would be fantastic if it where not for this sabotage by Cranbury municipality’s parasitism- it appears that they are saving in the tens of thousands of dollars PER STUDENT, what a feast, it’s on us – (it’s not the kids, it’s not their fault, that goes without saying, and those who are already here should be grandfathered), and the few Princeton residents who are happy to sell the shop to white supremacy since decades. We shall protect our children from experiencing this disgusting, frantic transe against A.Black.Woman.In.Charge.

  8. So much misinformation! (And more about Cranbury!) It’s ironic at best that the comments on a signed letter asking that the PPS debate not devolve are mostly devolving and all unsigned.

  9. Before Dr. Kelley, under the former superintendant, PPS district did not comply with some state and federal statutes, there was no working system of referral and evaluation for special education, parents were left to fend for themselves and their children, and eventually loose a lot of time and money if they ever tried to make their children rights respected and needs fulfilled. But in the mean time, curiously, Cranbury special education costs incurred at the High School were not paid for by Cranbury municipality, but by us, and per the business manager admission during a public board meeting a year ago, some special education costs for Cranbury are still “waived”, or rather in fact paid by Princeton taxpayers. how is that acceptable?
    Previous superintendant also scapegoated the charter school, to the point of suing them, unsuccessfully (of course). In fact The charter school does not cost anything more to Princeton taxpayers, we have to school these kids anyway, they are Princeton kids, and the budget alloted to it is the same than what it would cost if there was no charter school. This was a very manipulative stance, if you look at the rest of his administration’s action or rather inaction, apart from very cheap and empty rhetoric.
    At the time, he also help force a board vote on the renewal of Cranbury sending agreement for 10 YEARS!!! Notably but not only, by producing laughably false figures for the yearly cost of a high school student, let’s say, 1/3rd to 1/4th of what they cost in reality. How come?
    Under him also, Cranbury municipality contribution for such students has been determined by the state, because PPS (himself, the board….who else????) has chosen that particular option, instead of providing the Actual Cost Per Pupil Report, which would be grossly at the very least two (or three?) times more that what the state commissioner provides (State commissioner calculation being a mean of all NJ districts expenses, a majority of which are super poor compared to Princeton and don’t provided more than a 3rd of what PHS students have access too). So by using and promoting and lying about this overall gross scheme, and threwing himself in support of Cranbury with ethically very questionnable statements, he did force PHS to provide for the high school education of approximately 30% more children, (still growing) and that specific tab for PPS budget is in the millions per years, (I’ll leave the terrible consequences of overcrowding to another contributor, including lack of access to science accelerated classes because Cranbury kids seem to have sometimes benefitted from some form of discreet priority, very opaque system of evaluation at PMS etc, etc…). Keeping Cranbury taxes low, or very very low, has obviously been an absolute priority for the previous administration. Also happened to be an almost all white male leadership team. While PPS business manager still cries all the time because of the 2% cap on the raise of very very high Princeton taxes, this is not only unsustainable for PPS, Princeton, all of us, but the overall situation we find ourselves in seems the product of certain ideological choices, I don’t think anybody can defend such an economic model, and the fondamental question still is : WHY???
    Why pay and on the top of this quite sophisticated racket, deprive our kids from their right to access the quality education that should be available to them at PHS, if they didn’t have to share everything, counselors to equipment to building maintenance, to spots at desirable colleges, to access to support services that are still provided for free to another municipality in another county, and share hallways that are so crowded that it is sometimes absolutely impossible to move, and they do arrive late in class because they are physically immobilized in the stairs. Note also the huge safety hasard this it represents, in case of fire or anything else…..
    All this aspects should be AUDITED asap, staying in this situation has far reaching and extremely serious consequences for all of us.

  10. Wasn’t the current president of the board the one who debunked Cranbury’s successful plot to not pay for their special education services? Of course they want her to go. But they don’t vote here, so they do need to foment a “culture war” in Princeton at all costs. Isn’t it fun to see Cranbury’s white women with their signs at the board meeting, having meltdowns, and threatening to recall a board for which they don’t vote? a child on the autism spectrum stays in school until 21 yo, with access to complex, multiple types of support services, so that is a heavy cost that Cranbury would not have paid for, I never understood why we ever accepted to foot these can of bills. Current superintendant worked hard in concertation with special education parents and teachers to restructure /create a system of referral and evaluation for support services here in Princeton before high school, that is compliant with state law and federal statutes. equity is a matter of legal obligation here. Note that it includes medical conditions, like epilepsy or cardiac disease etc….If we want to meet our legal obligation to all our Princeton students, there is no way we can afford to continue leaking millions to Cranbury municipality almost directly. Of course they want her to go. It is true too that the kids have difficulty circulating in the building, they also have difficulty accessing the cafeteria for lunch, so a lot of them do not eat because…they physically can’t get there all at once. I did hear the former superintendant complain that it was unfair that the charter school didn’t have that obligation, and then a couple neighbors told me their stories of kafkaesque efforts to try to get to badly needed services……that were provided for free to Cranbury high school students diagnosed before. What’s was the motive of Cochrane and the Sullivan board? what prevents anarchists Cranbury moms to open their own school, without hierarchy and Chmiel in charge of math curriculum? they don’t want equity? good for them, now we have to figure how we got there, and stop stripping our own children so that we can pay for theirs.

  11. What “we” (Princeton taxpayers) pay for Cranbury high schoolers is a gross 60-80% more, at the very least, than what Cranbury contributes. This is because the calculated tuition ($ 17, 000 at the time, 2017) is the AVERAGE certified tuition for ONE student, regardless of their grade. and a High schooler in Princeton costs more than 3 TIMES MORE than a 2nd grader.
    That is where the lie lies.
    Too easy, and too stupid.
    It costs us, Princeton taxpayers with or without kids, of all races and creed, in the north of 3-4 million dollars per year, each and every year, and this is a very very conservative estimate. likely much more.
    Cochrane went out of his way and paid consultants with our own money to throw confusion and make people believe that we were making money out of it (ah ah) and couldn’t even think about putting an end to the agreement.
    We can and should end the agreement for three additional reasons that the NJ commissioner can’t oppose :
    1- Cranbury considerably modifies the racial make up at PHS
    2- Princeton is facing an unprecedented rise in attendance , construction, older residents selling to younger families, yes there is a change of the guard, seizable rise in university recruitment…. we do not have a choice here.
    3- Cranbury overall has more than 1000 students, they are not anymore the small rural district they were 35 years ago. they were kicked out of two other deals before, so that is a very common end to such agreements and they know it.
    We were duped (or were we?) but grossly dishonest and profound, disguised and vicious racism, if not outright bro style white supremacy.
    How can we recover from such lows (can’t forget a board president saying that we will be overcrowded anyway, so that is why we should embrace the overcrowding due to Cranbury).
    Replacing certain ethnic/cultural populations by others, regardless of the “softened” means and detours used, has a name: it is a form of ethnic cleansing and that is what has happened here in Princeton since 35 years, partly through Cranbury’s sending agreement.

  12. Cranbury is a convenient straw man for Dr. Kelley’s supporters, but the reality is thousands of Princeton parents oppose the BOE and Dr. Kelley’s biased agenda. Princeton is already behind West Windsor and Montgomery and if Princeton continues to ignore the concerns of Asian parents, Princeton will suffer and surrounding communities will benefit. Let’s focus on the kind of equity that encourages all students to achieve their full potential.

  13. I’m confused, how the hell is equity opposed to excellence? who are the folks who can believe such a used trope?
    to Mr Schwartz: please give your alternate calculations and explain how a high schooler in Princeton costs the same as a 5th grader. I have no reason to reveal my kids identity, maybe they are good friends with yours, and also, in this current environment, there is a fair amount of tension if not threat of violence in the air, no need to have a fire at my residence, like on quacker road, forces at play here are truly frightening. I understand that intimidation is the point, and you can choose to not read anonymous posts.
    to “get real equity”.
    Racial profiling is against the law. PHS is a place where young human beings are educated, all together, at a fragile and precious time in their lives. According to their needs and abilities, they should be offered the best possible learning and living environnement, regardless of their social class, or race, or religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability etc…..West Windsor and Montgomery do well in ratings and measurements because they are quite successful in reducing the achievement gap and more diverse than PHS. These are two essential rubrics in the ratings you mention. et see how Cranbury high school does I the ratings soon. Princeton taxpayers have paid millions since decades and the Cranbury agreement was renewed with the expressed intention to reduce the diversity at PHS, and it shows in the ratings because they take diversity into account. The current superintendant has opened Saturday classes for the very advanced students to catch up with NJ state requirements, this is for PHS students who attend Princeton University in math and science, and thus miss some NJ mandatory classes. How is this not in support for excellence and compliance with state law?
    and what if we do support the superintendent because she is very good at math and data? what if we appreciate that she names and promotes mostly female supervisors, with PhDs, Ed doctorates, other specific credentials that were badly needed in the district and never fulfilled before, super skilled, sincere, dedicated and experienced people will definitely lift all of us, as a community, and we’ve never ever had that level of competence in the district.
    What was in for the clique of Cochrane/Stankiewicz/Deutsch/Sullivan/Behrendt in mounting that aggressive attack against their own town and its youth? repeating ad nauseam that we were making millions to make us bleed millions???? why would Cochrane go as far as to say “Cranbury kids are our kids????” (The ones already there would have stayed until graduation anyway, the option discussed was a phasing out, that was never in question). What did he mean, and how white supremacist dog whistling of that kind is acceptable to anybody????Particularly asian Americans?look at his team, their credentials and (in)actions, and look at what we have today. look at the former director of curriculum, paid a considerable salary to sleep on the job, look at the extraordinary woman we have there today. And btw, what’s wrong with your sign, I usually don’t exchange with people who arbor hate/aggressive signs.
    not only the former principal left a big mess at Franklin, but he also leaves a big mess at PHS, but his dismissal is a non event for my kids and their friends, as it should be. why would we pay a guy with 0 management skills a considerable salary, just to walk around asking the kids names???? This non event is definitely the straw man for the white supremacists/Cranbury hakers/haters and their Princeton fascists allies. Again, millions are literally stolen from us, how can you be happy with that bare mathematical fact???? As Daniel Dart said in a board meeting a year ago, our capability to go ahead even with compliance, is undermined because so much money goes to Cranbury, and I believe it is much more than the estimate given above. unfortunately this bright guy is not on te board anymore. Is he the only one to understand that a high schooler with access to 30 APs, 120 clubs, dozen sports teams, travel, 7 langages, 10 musical formations, teachers with PhDs, lab, etc..etc…….cost (how many times more? five or ten times more? more that a 2nd grader???? and please factor what “excellence” is taken away from our Princeton kids un a very concrete way in their everyday experience. Extreme and dangerous overcrowding as already said, also pb in accessing overbooked and overworked counselors and administrators, unwanted and unfair competition for a limited spots not only in advanced/very advanced classes but also for college counseling and admissions to colleges etc…..and we pay million to rip them- our own kids- of. Previously extremely difficult access to special education either. That’s purely unbelievable. what is Our access to excellence in Princeton as a function of the money we put in for another county’s municipality???? what is Our access to equity? how is this overall situation even believable to anybody? the more I look at it, as said elsewhere here, the more I find that the tab is in the tens of millions of dollars on us over the years. thanks to Cochrane and al. lately.

    1. Just a minor point here: the Saturday classes were created (not sure by whom) for students who had accumulated too many absences, regardless of whether or not they were taking university classes. I do not know what, if any, academic work went on during these classes. In fact, a few versions of the rumors I heard about this last year referred to these classes as “Saturday detentions.” In any case, this wasn’t specifically for students taking university classes to catch up with state-mandated coursework — not least because those students are expected to arrange makeup with the relevant teachers themselves.

  14. Mold was not removed under Cochrane’s in an elementary school, he refused until forced by state law, and a parent extraordinary tenacity. Middle school nurse suite was not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, couldn’t accommodate a student on a weelchair, and a very long list of other essential needs were not even considered under the pretext of not having enough money. Of course, the guys were in the process of securing the pipeline from Princeton taxpayer to Cranbury’ s pockets through 2030!!! This is serious stuff, a long story of consequential corruption, and deep, dark forces that want now a return to power. Divide and conquer, (why sue the charter school while it doesn’t cost us anything more than the usual cost per pupil?), make use of the always ready lynching mob, throw incerdibly bizarre statements in meetings organized by a consulting agency…other items in the toolbox.Don’t forget that it is thanks to a Princeton asian American citizen that we are now not tied up with Cochrane’s $120,000,000 referendum, and to help all of us stay united against these white supremacists vile manipulations, read Jeff Chang yesterday’s inspiring paper:

    Asian Americans spent decades seeking fair education. Then the right stole the narrative
    Affirmative action opponents have used racial scapegoating to reframe the national debate, exploiting middle-class fears
    Published: 13 Apr 2023
    Asian Americans spent decades seeking fair education. Then the right stole the narrative

  15. It seems that Cranbury municipality doesn’t pay a kind of a half million bill for their PHS school computers either. not that we ever asked, why bother? so,
    it doesn’t pay for the building because it is capital expense.
    it still doesn’t pay for the full bill for special education, who knows why? but our business guy is super happy with that anyway. and he is the one who complains of the 2% cap all the time, he would like us to pay even more,
    it doesn’t pay for hundreds of brand new Mac book air.
    It pays a small, thin portion of a high school student tuition in Princeton.
    what more???
    And they’ve expressed their racism all along, so is that precisely what we pay them for? from the first day, the ladies’ meltdown with the nomination of a black superintendant was there for everybody to see. they spread online accusations, and refer to hate speech and bogus hate press.
    in the mean time, we have sign on lawns and 2 of the victims didn’t vote the renewal. (the third was not on the board at the time).
    whatever your race, Princeton taxpayer, what say you???

  16. It is not even true that charter school kids cost us the same than if they were in PPS. They cost much less overall, for a number of various reasons. Charter can raise money and tap other funds than the tax levy, we do not have to built or expand PPS facilities to accommodate these 400 kids, we would need at least another new elementary school’s building and it’s operating costs, and expand considerably the middle school, already bursting at the seams, if it were to stop operating. There is only one principal there, and other direct or indirect savings. Not sure why charter has been scapegoated? Noise about charter clearly served as a smoke screen to hide questionnable expenses, totally opaque budget, administration never explains in what way they cost more? Of course if you choose to waste taxpayer’s money suing them, while you do know that they are acting accordingly to NJ and federal law.

  17. 1- Cranbury attendance represents 35-45%more attendance at PHS depending on the year. Let’s approximate 40%.
    3- Cranbury municipality contributes less than 5% of PPS operating costs.
    4- They do not contribute to capital expenses, (municipality property/not even the same county etc…), some of which is exclusively and quite urgently incurred because of Cranbury attendance.
    Not only they’ve been kicked out before by two other municipalities but before Cranbury, we had a sending agreement with what became Montgomery high school. So who said (and why) it was legally impossible to not renew????
    In 1988 , at the time of the first agreement, PPS had less than half the number of students it has now, and Cranbury high schoolers were …….a few dozen…..(I know I’m old)…..who were Cochrane and the Sullivan board working for ? and who is gullible enough here to accept 1 councilor for 250 students at PHS, the middle school left bare with half the budget it needs, hazards at PHS due to over overOVER crowding, etc…. because these guys forced us to find the money for exploding attendance from another county???? And now who laments that we can’t possibly face a smaller rise in attendance from Princeton residents? We’ll have close to $18 million more in cash from operating budget if Cranbury’s agreement is cancelled. We’ll loose 5 million from its contribution. That’s more than enough to welcome ALL our Princeton high schoolers in excellent conditions, provide minimally descent conditions at the middle school, and make the rest of the cash to serve our children the best we can, for them to thrive in whatever way they choose to, and no matter what disability they have, as they should all do with all the money we have here.
    Does PU know that we are desperate to take the millions from it to finance Cranbury’s real estate tax cuts????

  18. Calculations need a small revision here. Let’s consider PHS expenses since the agreement renewal only, 2020. One should take into account the whole PPS budget including the capital expenses for the high school in the costs column because Cranbury kids physically have to be somewhere. The trick is you spend a fortune for an PHS expansion with( rightly reduced) referendum money, and you squeeze them like sardines anyway! we have it for the worst and the worst with Cranbury, because to welcome several hundred more kids properly we would have needed to almost double the study and walkway space at the high school, a small extension gives breathing room but can’t do.
    The final result is that PHS costs lately a 3/4 of all expenses per year since the renewal in 2020. Cranbury’s financial contribution amounts to less than 10% off all costs while they add more than 40% of the kids.
    The GAP is OH MY ….huge…..more around $20,000,000 a year if I am not missing something ( I guess we get a 5% by pupil NJ contribution from the state that I can’t find in the books specifically for Cranbury high schoolers, that would be more or less 1,000 for each student, for 400-500 students that would be 400,000 to 500,000. So 19, 500,000 is closer to the real tab.
    There must be a reason we are doing this to our kids and ourselves?
    This is also around 50% of the City Council budget. Every year. Phasing out can’t be that complicated, they just open a 9th grade class with their money in September in their own town. That’s it.

  19. I respectfully disagree with this letter, although I’m very thankful that the author appeals to civility and respect.
    Frank Chmiel’s team has been a complete disaster for PHS since a couple of years. The chaos was Lately illustrated by the complete failure to administer state tests, (no preparation, no management, no nothing…what do they do all day?). Also problematic is that the counseling dept sends emails for very important and informational meetings only a few hours before, and most of the working parents can’t attend at such ridiculously short notice.
    To add to what is importantly underlined here, we need to go to the bottom of very fundamental issues here in Princeton with regard to the Cranbury power grab and what it means. Cranbury has also invaded other concertation/discussion structures like the new “Princeton future “. How come? These people take exclusive places in lieu of others in the region, (nobody is there from Trenton of course…), pretending that we share a commonality of interest and destiny…..around what????whiteness????
    At high school there is a situation of apartheid with access reserved to white or Asian students for advanced classes, the information is not shared, they never share a class or sports with the Latino kids. Why are sports reserved for non-Latino kids at the middle and high school?

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