Real Progress Montclair, a slate of candidates headed by mayoral candidate Karen Turner, issued the following statement following Monday night's vote by the Montclair Board of Education on the budget:
"Real Progress Montclair commends the courageous action of the Board of Education in holding the line on spending while strengthening Montclair's schools. At the meeting, several of the Board of Education members talked about longer-range capital spending plans as well as working more collaboratively with the town and the board of school estimate to reduce debt costs and ultimately the town's significant debt burden.
"Along with developing a five-year plan for town-wide operations, these are areas specifically identified in Real Progress Montclair's platform information. The platform also includes ideas for improving how the municipal operations are managed and services delivered to achieve savings for the citizens of Montclair.
"In the past, the municipal side of the budget has gone up, while the school board has been forced to make cuts in order to keep overall tax increases down. The town council has then taken credit for 'reasonable tax increases,' all on the backs of our public school students. The schools should not be bearing the brunt of the pain.
"We need better fiscally sound town-wide planning and prudence to keep our schools strong and our town healthy. We thank the Board of Education for their hard work and thoughtful process."
Visit www.realprogressmontclair.com for more details on its platform.