LETTER: West New York BOE Trustee Cheng his no vote on shared services

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In a letter to the editor, West New York Board of Education Trustee Matthew Cheng explains why he voted no on shared services with the town, noting that the imbalance between the two entities is glaring. Matthew Cheng

Dear editor,

First of all, I’d like to thank the Superintendent, the police and all of the passionate people who spoke.

I am proud to say that my daughter graduated Pre-K a few weeks ago and will be attending Kindergarden at #1 school in the Fall. Before I left to be here this evening, she said to me, Daddy, I want to say something.

I really miss my friends. I said, don’t worry, in a few weeks you’ll see them again. When I make decisions on this stage, I think about her and all of the other students who attend our district.

I’d like to explain why I voted no the shared service agreements with the Town of West New York.

As the Superintendent stated, these are a collective group of shared services and what was voted down, and what was the intention of the Board members who voted down these agreements was the transfer of $1.5 million from the Board of Education to the Town of West New York.

I am certainly not against the police or recreational activities for our children.

Let me explain how we got here.

Most of the revenue for our school district comes from the State and for the past few years, we have been flat funded. We have a $135 million budget of which local taxpayers contribute only $16 million.

While our expenses have gone up, our revenue has not. For more than a year, our teachers worked without a contract.

At last year’s budget meeting, the Business Administrator said there was no money for a contract that year and the next year. Teachers came and protested and eventually the Board and the Union agreed to a new contract.

This year, Trustees were told by the Business Administrator that the Board faced a $2 million dollar deficit.

I am on the Finance Committee and attended a meeting a week before the Budget hearing where various scenarios were contemplated to reduce the number of teachers and staff to compensate for this.

I asked about class sizes and was told that they would start to increase to the high 20’s to 30 in the Middle and High School. Today, we have less teachers, less aides and less staff than we did a year ago. We are spending less money per pupil than we did a year ago because of this.

When the Board asked the Town for help, the shared service agreements were modified so the Board would pay $50,000 less. This isn’t enough. Let me reiterate this point. These are shared services.

The Board gives the Town $1.5 and receives less than ten times that amount. These services and spaces should be shared in an equal way and the cost borne by both. We are in this together and the Board needs help.

By law, the Board can only increase taxes 2% each year while the Town has no such restriction.

Last meeting, I read a heartfelt letter from a student describing how she was inspired to be a Math teacher because of one of her teachers at Memorial High School.

That is how important teachers are. I want to hear more stories like this, not less. I want more teachers, not less. I want our students to have more supplies and textbooks, not less.

I want the Board to work together with the Town so these agreements are equal and fair to the our students.

Thank you.

Matthew Cheng

Cheng is a West New York Board of Education Trustee

These opinions are my own and not those of the West New York Board of Education

7 COMMENTS

  1. You hamster,you are full of crap,everything you do up on that board is politically motivated.Some may not now that you are a manipulator, you try to play the innocent role but I see right thru you.I personally know first hand how full of crap you are.your political hate consumes you to the point that you would even harm the children of WNY to try to make the current administration look bad but this time it backfired big time on you.your lucky I couldn’t make the meeting so that I could point out your full of crapness.for example people this man Matthew cheng the little hamster 2 or 3 meetings ago the issue came out about lorena portillo is under investigation by the state for voter fraud and this hamster said to the board that the board shouldn’t be spending time and monies investigation or looking into these real allegations.but if it was someone else not one of his people he would want an all out investigation.I’m speaking with facts you can check the board minutes if you don’t believe me.he said there is project graduation going on and we shouldn’t waste our time and resources investigating these allegations.allegations which are also being investigated by the state.this guy is full of crap and I’m glad the truth about him is coming out.time tells all…WNY residents please remember these individuals come election time and vote them out.they are not there for the children,it’s all a front for their political hate that consumes them.

    • Frank is the guy who used to say Roque is a POS and now sells broken LED displays to the BOE and City… The FBI should investigate his dealing in town!!!

  2. In this debate NONE of the Roquebots can defend the fact that the BOE pays out $1.5 million for shared services but the town pays the BOE between $4 & $92,849 depending on who you ask. All non partisans ask is that the shared services is paid fairly both ways.

  3. To answer both of the hide behind fake names persons commenting.first off the fbi or anyone can investigate the led sign I sold the town for half the price of what it really costs.I was the lowest bidder and second do your own research it’s a 7mm outdoor 6000nit led sign 10ft by 7ft.get some quotes then eat your words…as for the second smoke thrower talking about unfairness of shared services.why not have talks and have meetings prior to creating or trying to create havoc.the hamster knew these agreements where coming up did he try to have talks and meeting about them…NO…WHY…because he tried to use them as a political plot.if you really care and see something broken you try to fix it prior to it hurting the children or trying to hurt the children and their programs.if it where up to the hamster and his cronies some recent programs would have been jeopardized amd he would have had a huge devious smile on his face.All this was for show if they really cared meeting and talks should have been set up with the mayor,the commissioners,the school superintendent, the attorneys,the board and they could talk and negotiate and express their issues but not one attempt was made prior to this vote nor one effort by them will be made going forward cause it’s all for show and political hate that like I said before consumes this evil hamster.

  4. Lol…crazy…hiding behind fake names trying to talk crap…I guess I’m speaking the truth since all you can respond with is insults and totally non related to topic bullshit…grow a set…lol

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