A trial balloon – if that’s what it was – fell like lead in Teaneck last week.
It is not clear whether the township’s board of education really was considering a drastic change to its busing system, which would have entailed the private school parents who have counted for years on taxpayer-paid busing (and who would point out, quickly and accurately, that they are among the township’s taxpayers) having to bring their children to Fairleigh Dickinson’s parking lot, right off Route 4, during rush hour, and then having them somehow sorted into buses that might get them to school. Or was the idea, admittedly half-baked, just one of many on a list destined for a trash can?
As our page 7 story details, parents found out about the proposal and packed a school board meeting, politely but persistently making their objections to the proposal clear. The board reacted with deer-in-the-headlights shock, apparently unprepared for the questions and unable to describe, much less defend, the logistical nightmare their proposal would unleash, or have any idea if it actually would save money.
We have no idea whether the board really meant the proposal seriously or if it was an inappropriately leaked silly bad idea.
What we do know, though, is that as ludicrous as the proposed solution was, the dilemmna in which Teaneck finds itself it real. It needs more money than it has or can raise.
Maybe the real solution is staring everyone in the face. Maybe it is to end the madness of home rule, with each little town duplicating services, huddling within its own borders as if this were 1715 rather than 2015.
Something will have to give. We suggest that it should not be busing or school nurses or janitors but absolute home rule.