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Officials from the Maywood school district and Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford approved resolutions that could potentially send Maywood's high school students to Becton — provided the state consents to such a deal.Maywood's high-school-age students now attend Hackensack High School. But two years ago, when the districts' seven-year contract concluded, Maywood attempted to renegotiate, citing high tuition rates and overcrowding.Maywood officials have also taken issue with their inabil...
Officials from the Maywood school district and Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford approved resolutions that could potentially send Maywood's high school students to Becton — provided the state consents to such a deal.
Maywood's high-school-age students now attend Hackensack High School. But two years ago, when the districts' seven-year contract concluded, Maywood attempted to renegotiate, citing high tuition rates and overcrowding.
Maywood officials have also taken issue with their inability to provide input on the Hackensack district's spending decisions, according to statements released by Maywood's administration.
Despite the proposed switch, all Maywood students already at Hackensack High will be able to finish there and graduate with their classmates. Maywood has about 100 eighth-grade graduates each year.
There will be no change for the upcoming school year, but the deal could take effect as soon as the 2020-21 school year if the state education commissioner approves Maywood's split from Hackensack.
Becton's principal and superintendent, Dario Sforza, said he was pleased to be chosen from among neighboring districts considered in a third-party feasibility study to determine the best choice.
The study recommended Becton based on academic, economic and demographic criteria, and noted that it is already a regional district.
Hackensack had been absorbing Maywood's students since 1969 without a formal agreement, said Michael Jordan, Maywood's superintendent. When the two districts signed a formal contract in 2010, the tuition was set at $13,125 per student, with a 2 percent increase each year.
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As the seven-year deal neared expiration, Maywood's intention was to renew the agreement with a lower rate, but it rebuffed Hackensack's offer of a 5 percent reduction and sought new proposals from Paramus, Dumont, Midland Park and Becton, which serves students of East Rutherford and Carlstadt.
"The long and short of it is that it's something the Maywood Board of Education pursued simply because we needed a tuition that would allow us to maintain a quality K-to-eight program and alleviate overcrowding" at Hackensack High School, Jordan said of the decision to seek an agreement with another district.
"Never once has an administrator said anything about the quality of education at Hackensack High School," Jordan said. "That is not what this is about."
Becton has agreed to a 10-year deal with a starting rate of $10,500 per student. At year five, tuition will increase 2 percent each year and cap at $11,800 per student in the deal's 10th year.
Despite both districts' interest in the arrangement, the deal must first be approved by the state education commissioner.
Racial demographics could create a sticking point in the dissolution of Maywood's deal with Hackensack because of a 1985 lawsuit between Englewood and Englewood Cliffs over a similar deal.
In its ruling, the state Superior Court prohibited Englewood Cliffs from dissolving the agreement because it would create a racial imbalance in the other district.
Jordan described Maywood's racial makeup as a "snapshot" of Becton's.
The two have similar demographics, according to the feasibility study, which used 2010 U.S. Census data of the districts' overall populations. A demographics expert also analyzed demographics of the districts' actual student bodies.
During the 2017-18 school year, Maywood's high school students were 48% white, 28% Hispanic, 11% black, and 8% Asian. Becton's makeup was similar with 50% white, 33% Hispanic, 10% Asian, and 7% black.
Hackensack High School's numbers vary noticeably, with 55% Hispanic, 22% black, 16% white students, and 6% Asian.
Despite the much lower number of white students, the expert wrote that there would be "no negative racial impact on Hackensack High School" should Maywood sever its agreement, and that Maywood's diversity would remain intact if joined with another district.
Hackensack's superintendent, Robert Sanchez, did not respond to a request for comment on the possible loss of Maywood's students.
Guess you really can’t beat the real thing.Coca-Cola gets its iconic taste thanks in part to a chemical processing factory in a sleepy New Jersey neighborhood that has the country’s only license to import the plant used to make cocaine.The Maywood-based facility, now managed by the Stepan Company, has been processing coca leaves for the soft-drink giant for more than a century and had its license to import them renewed by the Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this year.The coca leaves are used to create a &ldqu...
Guess you really can’t beat the real thing.
Coca-Cola gets its iconic taste thanks in part to a chemical processing factory in a sleepy New Jersey neighborhood that has the country’s only license to import the plant used to make cocaine.
The Maywood-based facility, now managed by the Stepan Company, has been processing coca leaves for the soft-drink giant for more than a century and had its license to import them renewed by the Drug Enforcement Agency earlier this year.
The coca leaves are used to create a “decocainized” ingredient for the soda and the leftover byproduct is sold to the opioid manufacturing company Mallinckrodt, which uses the powder to make a numbing agent for dentists, DailyMail reported.
It is unclear how much coca leaves the Stepan Company imports annually, although the New York Times reported in 1988 that it brought in between 56 and 588 metric tons of coca leaves from Peru and Bolivia each year, citing DEA figures.
One ton of coca leaf costs over $5,500 in Peru, so the Stepan Company would be paying between $308,000 and $3.2 million for the shipment of the illicit leaves if the amount it imports has remained constant over the decades, according to data from agricultural company Selina Wamucii.
Ricardo Cortés, author of 2012’s “A Secret History of Coffee, Coca and Cola,” wrote that he obtained records from the National Company of the Coca, a Peruvian state-owned company, which showed that up to 104 tons of coca leaves were exported to Maywood each year between 2007 and 2010.
Importing coca leaves was banned in 1921, but the legislation left an exemption for Maywood Chemical Works, which ran the factory before Stepan Company bought the site in 1959.
Meanwhile, the legal exemption the factory has received helped the Coca-Cola brand to become the massive globally recognized company it now is, with is worth around $265 billion.
“Coca-Cola’s success as the mega-company it is today is due, at least in part, to special privileges granted by government during World War II, and the suppression of potential competitors in the early years of Harry Anslinger’s anti-drug policies,” Australian economics think tank Mises Institute wrote in a 2016 article.
Anslinger was the former head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics between 1930 and 1962 and is widely recognized as an early proponent of the war on drugs who had a major role in the federal criminalization of marijuana.
Cortés wrote in a 2016 blog post that he visited the National Archives and saw letters between Anslinger and Maywood Chemical Works joining forces to deflect a Life Magazine reporter’s story about the coca leaf importation.
“We do not desire the publicity which such an article might bring us,” Maywood Chemical’s President M.J. Hartung wrote to Anslinger in 1949.
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The next year, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics filed an internal memo regarding the matter.
“Less publicity of articles about coca leaves and narcotic drugs will be better for the public,” the memo from July 1950 reads, going on to call past coverage of the issue unsatisfactory.
Maywood’s grand opening event includes live performances, tours and moreSchool of Rock Maywood is owned by Mike Lisante, a lifelong guitarist who embarked on his musical journey at the age of nine. With a Master's Certificate in Guitar from Berklee College of Music, Mike's passion for music radiates in every note he plays. Over the last 24 years, he has been an integral part of a local cover band, continually refining his craft through captivating performances on stage. Prior to his venture with School of Rock, he spe...
School of Rock Maywood is owned by Mike Lisante, a lifelong guitarist who embarked on his musical journey at the age of nine. With a Master's Certificate in Guitar from Berklee College of Music, Mike's passion for music radiates in every note he plays. Over the last 24 years, he has been an integral part of a local cover band, continually refining his craft through captivating performances on stage. Prior to his venture with School of Rock, he spent 22 years as the Director of Operations for a renowned musical instrument fulfillment company. When the world was taken by storm by COVID-19 in 2020, Mike felt a calling to a more purpose-driven career, one that put human spirit above bottom line dollars. He crossed paths with School of Rock’s CEO, Rob Price, and felt instantly connected, which led to the opening of School of Rock Maywood.
“From the moment I joined the School of Rock community, I instantly felt a profound sense of belonging and familiarity. School of Rock Maywood is a place where music becomes more than just a lesson. It's a community that embraces and empowers, offering solace for the soul and a stage for belonging. Here, everyone is a rockstar, regardless of background,” said Mike. “With the power of music, we transform lives, forge friendships, provide a social outlet, and foster a sense of accomplishment. School of Rock changes lives. I know because it changed mine.”
School of Rock provides students of all ages an exciting and engaging music lesson experience, which includes bass lessons, guitar lessons, singing lessons, drum lessons, and piano lessons. Drawing from all styles of rock and roll, School of Rock students learn theory and techniques via songs from legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, and Led Zeppelin. Thanks to the school’s performance-based approach, students around the world have gained superior musical proficiency, with some moving on to record deals and larger platforms such as American Idol, The Voice and Broadway.
“There is a lot of heart and soul that goes into School of Rock,” said Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock. “Mike is someone who embodies this spirit. His passion for music as a gigging musician informs and inspires his effort. I look forward to watching his students thrive through music education and live performances.”
SOURCE School of Rock
Voters in six North Jersey municipalities approved proposals to finance school construction projects outside of their annual budgets on Tuesday.Among the bond referendums in Bergen and Morris counties, only one proposal saw voters decline a supplemental school tax for building improvements. One other, with an unofficial result of 398 to 391, remains too close to call with mail-in ballots potentially outstanding.Most of the work pertains to upgrades of existing facilities, though some districts have proposed new c...
Voters in six North Jersey municipalities approved proposals to finance school construction projects outside of their annual budgets on Tuesday.
Among the bond referendums in Bergen and Morris counties, only one proposal saw voters decline a supplemental school tax for building improvements. One other, with an unofficial result of 398 to 391, remains too close to call with mail-in ballots potentially outstanding.
Most of the work pertains to upgrades of existing facilities, though some districts have proposed new classrooms and athletic fields. All are expected to be offset by state debt relief that covers up to 40% of project costs, records show.
The Bogota School District had two separate bond proposals in its referendum.
The first requested $12.7 million for new auditoriums, classrooms and bathrooms and other work at its high school and elementary schools. Approved in a 687-185 vote, the bond is also expected to fund a $4 million conversion of the former Masonic lodge on Palisade Avenue into a technical school.
The second bond proposal, approved in a 490-226 vote, should see the district borrow $7.2 million for new athletic fields to support the growing school enrollment.
Combined, the projects will cost the average taxpayer with a $263,500 property assessment about $15 a month for 20 years or more, district officials said in February. Records show the state is offering more than $7.7 million in aid to offset taxpayer repayment, state records show.
Once complete, the projects should provide enough space to reserve Bogota Jr./Sr. High School exclusively for grades nine through 12, district officials said.
District officials in Hillsdale announced on Wednesday that the bond proposal meant to build a new middle school by the fall of 2026 was defeated by voters.
The $82.7 million proposal would have included the demolition of the century-old George G. White Middle School on Magnolia Avenue to allow for the creation of new athletic facilities at the site and the construction of a new school across the street.
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District officials said the referendum proposal would have cost the average taxpayer with a $474,172 property assessment about $95 a month for the next 30 years due to an offsetting $5.4 million state contribution. In the lead-up to Tuesday's vote, Board of Education members said the existing school is inadequate, with aging infrastructure and small classrooms. They said doing nothing is not an option, and a loss on Tuesday would likely restart the process of concept development and lead to another public referendum in one to two years.
Maywood's bond measure approved Tuesday will bring building upgrades to Memorial School and Maywood Avenue School.
Both schools are about 100 years old and in need of new heating and cooling systems, fire alarm systems and roofs, district officials said. The referendum proposal approved 865-331 by voters will address those issues, they said. It will also allow the district to fund the addition of new classrooms at Memorial School and convert the science lab at Maywood Avenue School into a modern lab and makerspace.
Nearly $7.3 million, or about a third of the total projected costs, will be funded by state debt service aid. District officials said payment on the debt will not begin until 2025. Then, the average local school taxpayer with a property assessment of $449,058 will be responsible for about $28 per month to pay down the debt.
The Saddle Brook School District also received voter approval to borrow funds for school repairs and safety upgrades.
In a 792-656 vote, residents agreed to finance $14.4 million over 20 years for projects across all five of its schools.
Projects include safety and security upgrades, an athletic turf field and lights, and the replacement of various windows, doors, ceilings, roofs, restrooms and floors, district officials said.
Renovations at Washington Elementary School are expected to convert unused space to classrooms for a pre-K program currently operating with a waitlist. Moreover, the installation of an elevator is planned as part of an interior restoration of Coolidge School, district officials said.
The bond is expected to be offset by nearly $5 million in state funding, records show. District officials previously estimated that the bond repayment would cost the average taxpayer with a $407,800 property assessment about $121 per year.
More than 73% of Tuesday's voters in Morris Plans approved a $9.5 million referendum measure to improve the district's two schools, according to the unofficial county results.
The 709-262 vote paves the way for the construction of five new classrooms, two single-occupancy bathrooms and an outdoor classroom and playground at Mountain Way School. The improvements are designed to restore learning environments affected by a lack of space in recent years and expand special education programs at the pre-K through second grade school, district officials said.
The project at Borough School, for third through eighth graders, is smaller by comparison. It is due to upgrade all bathrooms for students and staff, records show. District officials said repaying the bond will cost the average taxpayer with a property assessed at $440,000 about $63 per year over 20 years. State records show the bond repayment is due to be offset by about $918,000 million in state funding.
Result: Too close to call.
The vote in Riverdale could not be determined Wednesday.
In the balance remained an $18.9 million referendum proposal for site upgrades and classroom additions and renovations to Riverdale Public School, which serves students in pre-K through eighth grade.
The margin was just seven votes as of Wednesday morning, 398 in favor to 391 opposed, according to unofficial county results.
The proposed site work includes construction of a new loop drive and drop-off area to separate car and bus traffic and allow students to enter the building more safely. The project also calls for new classrooms, a cafeteria expansion and drainage upgrades ahead of new natural grass fields.
The measure incorporates $4.8 million in approved state aid, lowering the expected taxpayers' contributions. The average assessed home value of $373,829 equates to the homeowner paying about $373 per year over a 25-year period, according to district officials.
Voters in the Washington Township district approved a $28.8 million bond proposal to fund repairs and improvements for each of its schools
The approved projects include renovations estimated at $2.4 million at Old Farmers Road Elementary, $3.3 million at Benedict A. Cucinella Elementary, $4.8 million at Flocktown Elementary, $6.7 million at Walter J. Kossman Elementary, and $11.5 for Long Valley Middle School.
The projects range from classroom renovations and additions to boilers and electrical equipment and would be phased for completion over two to three summers beginning in 2023, district officials said. Morris County records show the vote was 908-793. About 20% of the ballots were cast by mail.
With the approval, the district is eligible for nearly $11.5 million in state aid to offset the taxpayer-funded bond.
The K-8 district sends students to West Morris Central High School in the township. The school is one of two in the West Morris Regional High School District. The other, Mendham High School, serves students from the Mendhams and Chesters.
Staff writers William Westhoven, Kyle Morel and Megan Burrow contributed to this report.
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