WOODCLIFF LAKE

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Feasibility Study of the Pascack Valley Regional Constituent Districts for the Borough of Woodcliff Lake January 2013

Study of the Consequences of the Withdrawal of Montvale & Woodcliff Lake from Pascack Valley Regional High School District   March 2013




The Pascack Valley Regional HIgh School Funding Equity Committee for 2012 has met several times this year to discuss the next steps to this issue.  Members include Mayor Jeffrey Goldsmith, Councilwoman Donna Abene, Councilman Kenneth Baum, Dana Cassell, former Mayor Joseph LaPaglia and Robert Nathin. 

March  2012

Woodcliff Lake Mayor and Council along with Montvale's Mayor and Council have passed unanimous Resolutions to Consider Possible Withdrawal from the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. Click here to see a copy of both Resolutions.  (Montvale) (Woodcliff Lake ) Mayor Goldsmith stressed at the March 19, 2012 meeting that all Woodcliff Lake students will continue to attend Pascack Hills High School.  9-12 students will atttend the same schools, with the same classmates and the same teachers.  More on this issue will be posted by Mayor Goldsmith. 

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September 29, 2010

Woodcliff Lake voters overwhelming voted 1525 yes and 40 no for the PVRHSD school referendum.  As anticpated, Hillsdale and RiverVale vote against the referendum while Montvale supported Woodcliff Lake in this initiative. 

 

INFORMATION TO THE VOTERS IN WOODCLIFF LAKE

August 2010

When Dr. Ben Tantillo, the former Superintendent, was asked why the students from Montvale and Woodcliff Lake cost so much more to educate, he responded, “They don’t, they all cost the same. It’s the formula!”

Under the current formula there are two big differences from the original formula: the number of students each town sends does not influence what the sending town pays since the annual operating budget is allocated based on the ration of the aggregate assessed property values of each sending town. See table below.

Town Equalized Aggregate Assessed Values %

Hillsdale $2,033,971,000 23.8%

Montvale $2,218,415,000 24.9%

River Vale $2,167,350,000 23.6%

Woodcliff Lake $2,331,359,000 27.7%

$8,751,095,000 100 %

Unfortunately for Montvale and Woodcliff Lake the aggregate assessed property values using in the formula include commercial ratable (principally office buildings) which do not generate students. Woodcliff Lake sends only 19% of the students but pays 28% of the total school budget. Hopefully, you are now starting to get the picture of the distortions created under the 1979 formula revision.

Hillsdale and River Vale have been the beneficiaries of the current formula because of the greater number of students attending the Pascack Valley Regional High School District from their towns and the lower ratio of commercial to residential ratable compared to Montvale and Woodcliff Lake.

The upcoming Special Election is the opportunity for the residents of all four towns to show their support for a change in the formula or to maintain the status quo. If this referendum is approved, we would return to the original approved budget formula resulting in an annual property tax reduction of $1,300 for the average (assessed value of $624,000) home in Woodcliff Vote.  Vote your feelings on September 28, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. - 9:00.m.

Mayor Joe LaPaglia

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at a meeting held on February 11, 2010, the Mayor and Council of Woodcliff Lake passed a Resolution that reads:

           RESOLVED, that the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education should conduct a referendum, consistent with N.J.S.A. 18A:13-23.3 as soon as practicable, in order to return the tax allocation for its operating budget to that originally approved the voters, one based 100% on a per pupil formulation; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Borough Administrator of the Borough of Woodcliff Lake immediately convey same to each of the individual school districts and municipalities.

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There was an  overwhelmingly positive response to the Pascack Valley High School District referendum question on the Nov 3 ballot.  In response, our governing body Committee (Mayor LaPaglia, Council President Glaser, Councilman Bader) have already taken action by meeting with Peter Lisi, Superintendent of our local school and Bob Nathan, the President of the local School Board to agree on a suggested strategy for WCL and Montvale to move forward.

 

The Montvale Mayor and their school board representatives have expressed their preference for a consolidated Pre-K thru 12 district combined with WCL.  However, before committing to that or other restructuring alternatives, the WCL School Board wants to have further discussions on the subject. Toward that end, representatives agreed to meet again by early January. 

 

Future updates will be posted on this website" Please be sure to check in occassional. 

 

Click here for information on the non-binding Referendum placed on the Woodcliff Lake and Montvale ballot for the General Election to be held on November 3, 2009.

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To see a copy of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Final Feasibility Study for Montvale and Woodcliff Lake,click here.  Please note that this is a large file and will take some time to download. Copies are available at the Borough Hall for review. 

August 2010 Update

IMPORTANT NOTICE

To All WCL Residents:

There will be a Special Election on September 28, 2010 between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the regular school board election polling places (Dorchester School for Woodcliff Lake) for registered voters to support the joint referendum requests of both the Montvale and Woodcliff Lake local School Boards of Education (pre K to 8) and the Mayors and Councils to reinstate the original budget funding formula voted on and unanimously approved by the voters at the inception of the Pascack Valley Regional High School in 1955 which was changed in 1979.

The original budget funding formula, which served all four towns well for 25 years, was based on one average cost per student times the number of students attending from each sending town. The logic was obvious since the number of students attending school is the primary cost-driver in the budget. Each town paid the same amount per student and the only variable was the number of students attending. In 1979, in a misguided attempt to respond to an earlier N.J. Supreme Court decision involving Jersey City called Robinson vs. Cahill, the State of N.J. Legislature reasoned that historically N.J. public schools have been principally financed from local property taxes and; therefore, all regional school cost allocation formulas should be based upon the ratio of the aggregate assessed property values of the sending towns. Budget allocation formulas not conforming (the majority of regional schools) should be revised. Unfortunately it was not until 1994 that the State legislature acknowledged the error of their decision and started to allow regional districts to use cost per student formulas again, if all the participating towns agreed.

As a result of the State’s misguided 1979 decision the cost per student for our four towns became significantly different resulting in the current cost per student:

The Facts:

Town        # of Students     % Cost per Student

Hillsdale      642                     31% $14,840

Montvale     454                      22% $21,899

River Vale   568                      28% $16,653

Woodcliff Lake 388                 19% $28,521

When Dr. Ben Tantillo, the former Superintendent, was asked why the students from Montvale and Woodcliff Lake cost so much more to educate, he responded, “They don’t, they all cost the same. It’s the formula!”

Under the current formula there are two big differences from the original formula: the number of students each town sends does not influence what the sending town pays since the annual operating budget is allocated based on the ration of the aggregate assessed property values of each sending town. See table below.

Town Equalized Aggregate Assessed Values %

Hillsdale $2,033,971,000               23.8%

Montvale $2,218,415,000              24.9%

River Vale $2,167,350,000             23.6%

Woodcliff Lake $2,331,359,000      27.7%

$8,751,095,000 100 %

Unfortunately for Montvale and Woodcliff Lake the aggregate assessed property values using in the formula include commercial ratable (principally office buildings) which do not generate students. Woodcliff Lake sends only 19% of the students but pays 28% of the total school budget. Hopefully, you are now starting to get the picture of the distortions created under the 1979 formula revision.

Hillsdale and River Vale have been the beneficiaries of the current formula because of the greater number of students attending the Pascack Valley Regional High School District from their towns and the lower ratio of commercial to residential ratable compared to Montvale and Woodcliff Lake.

The upcoming Special Election is the opportunity for the residents of all four towns to show their support for a change in the formula or to maintain the status quo. If this referendum is approved, we would return to the original approved budget formula resulting in an annual property tax reduction of $1,300 for the average (assessed value of $624,000) home in Woodcliff

The Official Site of the Borough of Woodcliff Lake