Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey, a member of the Assembly Education Committee, today questioned Governor Christie’s new “prioritization system” for selecting schools to receive construction funding under the Schools Development Authority (SDA).
“It simply boggles my mind that the SDA did not include the Cleveland Street School in Orange on the list of new projects to receive construction funding. This is a building that’s 100 years old and falling down.
“It has been identified as a site for renovation and expansion for years now. On my last visit to the school to read with students, there was no heat in one of the classrooms and we were told the room does not warm until the afternoon because the boiler is old. The basement houses the cafeteria as well as only one set of boys and girls bathrooms for hundreds of students spread out over three floors.
“But putting aside the lack of heat and visible signs of decay, the one encouraging sign was that the building was clean and orderly, brightly decorated and students were on task and the teachers were fully engaged. It breaks my heart to have no answers to remedy this situation for my constituents after visiting the school numerous times and observing the deplorable conditions firsthand.
“If this school does not qualify for funding under the Governor’s new ‘prioritization system’ then I cannot wait to see what standards this system is based upon. I hope that the Governor lives up to his promise to provide complete ‘transparency’ when it comes to his prioritization system so that we can determine if this is truly a merit-based system,” said Jasey (D-Essex).