Today’s message is aimed at anyone who has children in the Toms River Regional School District or will have in the future and yes also to those of us who have had children go through the district.

There is a crisis that you may or may not be aware of but you should be.  I’m not going to throw out facts and figures but they are out there and if you attended Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting you likely heard the doom and gloom because the financial future is bleak without action from our so-called leaders in Trenton who remain on the sideline.

I am not qualified to speak of the state’s school funding formula but I do know that

S-2 has penalized Toms River and other districts for doing the right thing over the years.  But again I’m not proficient enough in the language of the bill to tell you what’s right and wrong except that it’s flawed and the Toms River Schools are getting shafted and if you think there’s pain now wait until next year and the year after that and so on.

Many times when it comes to budgets there are scare-tactics used for effect but that’s not the case here.  As early as next year there are cuts that may be made which would have a devastating impact on the district and the towns of Toms River, Beachwood, Pine Beach and South Toms River.

Toms River schools in trouble flier
Toms River schools in trouble flier (Townsquare Media NJ)

Athletics and Co-curricular activities are in the crossfire and while education has to be the priority what truly makes a school district is everything inside and outside the buildings.  As used in a flyer, “schools represent a town’s quality of life and its future.”

Can you picture a fall Friday night in Toms River with no football games because there are no football teams?  The bands and color guards would not have a place to go and perform but that wouldn’t really matter because there would be no bands and color guards or any other activities.

Whether it be my children who are now grown or others when asked for advice my rule of thumb was "don’t let you kids come home when the school bell rings."  Make them find something to keep busy because coming home to play video games is not the way to go.

We happen to be in a community that has a serious problem with opioids and one of the pro-active methods to battle this is for teenagers to be busy and have things to occupy their time and not to be home because the lights are off in school.

This I do know.  Many are pointing fingers in the wrong direction because the blame for this rests squarely with those in Trenton who have abandoned the Toms River School District.

It’s time for action, don’t wait because it may be too late.

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