Kathy Bowers address to the December 10, 2007
I am proud to represent all the staff members of the Wyckoff
Education Association as their Co-President. I would like
the entire staff to stand and be recognized for the outstanding
job they do, day in and day out educating and caring for the
children of Wyckoff.
We are tired of continuously being attacked by WHOA
and the lies that they continue to print. It must stop
and it must stop NOW!!!
Tonight, I will set the record straight and provide
you with the correct figures.
Wyckoff Students Are Succeeding!
The nationally recognized Wyckoff Public School District has
earned a well-deserved reputation for educational excellence
placing it among the top-rated academic institutions in the
country. Wyckoff students are highly successful.
According to the New Jersey Department of Education, Wyckoff
students exceed state standards in all subjects tested and at
every grade level tested. Elementary and middle school
test scores exceed state standards by as much as 51 percentage
Elementary School Language Arts
State Standard: 75% proficient or higher
Wyckoff: 95. 8% proficient or higher
Elementary School Math
State Standard: 62% proficient or higher
Wyckoff: 97% proficient or higher
Middle School Language Arts
State Standard: 66% proficient or higher
Wyckoff: 97.3% proficient or higher
Middle School Math
State Standard: 49% proficient or higher
Wyckoff: 90.5% proficient or higher
(Source 2006 NCLB Report)
Wyckoff was named "A Best Practice Star Schools District." The
Eisenhower Middle School was designated as a New Jersey Star
School and has received the “National Blue Ribbon School
of Excellence” award.
Wyckoff students are well-prepared to succeed in a technologically-based
world. The district has effectively integrated technology throughout
all subject areas. All of our schools’ classrooms are networked
and connected to the vast resources of the worldwide web. The
integration of subject matter and technology has provided teachers
with instructional materials that stimulate student interest
while challenging their intellect.
Student attendance rates exceed state averages, as do staff attendance
Teahers, Staff Among the Best in New Jersey
Wyckoff’s teachers are professionals who are committed
to providing their students with a solid foundation. Fifty-six
percent Wyckoff’s teachers have earned a Master’s
degree or higher. (The state average is 40.1percent.) Staff members
throughout the district have received numerous grants and awards
including but not limited to New Jersey Best Practices, Geraldine
R. Dodge Foundation, Milken Foundation, Shell Science Teacher,
Fulbright Scholar, Freeman Foundation, and Toyota Tapestry Award.
The district’s teachers spend countless hours
outside the school day, on weekends, and in the summer preparing
lessons, grading papers, taking classes and workshops, and preparing
their classrooms. Teachers often spend several hundred dollar
or more out of pocket to pay for classroom materials and supplies.
Teachers often travel to professional development opportunities
often, at their own expense.
Wyckoff’s teachers have an average of over 12 years of
Compensation Ranks At County Average
Despite Wyckoff’s success its teachers’ average
salary and cumulative earnings rank in the middle of Bergen County. The
average yearly salary is around $65,000. To reach the $90,000
salary a teacher holds a Master’s degree with 30 additional
credits and must have 20 years of service or hold two Master’s
degrees and have 15 years of service.
Like most teachers in Bergen County, Wyckoff’s teachers
have contractually agreed upon employer-paid basic medical benefits.
They contribute to the cost of dental benefits and pay double
the county average in prescription co-payments.
They do not have optical insurance or disability insurance. Actually
out of the 76 Bergen County school districts, only four have
staff members who make contributions to the basic health plan
Unlike those who work in the private sector, teachers do not
receive bonuses, stock options, employer-matched 401K plans,
car allowances, paid vacations, or company-paid business trips.
The teachers contribute between five and five-and-a-half percent
of their salaries to a state pension plan each and every year
they teach. This is not a gift; these pensions are paid
for and earned.
Wyckoff Homes Hold Value
Many families cite the quality of Wyckoff’s public schools
and the community’s quality of life as the prime reasons
for moving to Wyckoff.
Wyckoff is comprised primarily of single-family
detached homes. In Wyckoff, smaller homes for sale start under
$500,000, while the largest luxury homes command prices of a
million dollars or more. Many homes for sale fall into the $600,000
to $800,000 range. The median home sale price in 2006 was $775,000.
Wyckoff’s equalized school tax for 2006 was 1.05. That
places Wyckoff in the lower half of the county.
According to MuniNetGuide, a resource
for municipal research, Wyckoff’s median household income
is $126,784. The median for Bergen County is $76,830 and for
the U.S. is $50,406.
What You Need To Know
Rising property taxes
are a statewide problem. New Jersey relies far too heavily
on local property taxes to support education. In most states,
the cost of public education is evenly divided between state
revenues and local property taxes. But in New Jersey, the
state government’s contribution to education has hovered
around 40 percent for more than a generation, with local property
taxes paying most of the education bill statewide. Property tax
payers should direct their anger at the state and not the children
and teachers of Wyckoff Public Schools. It is time for
the state to pay its fair share of public education costs.
Wyckoff’s children deserve the best. In order to
continue to attract and retain the best teachers and school employees,
the Board of Education works with the Wyckoff Education Association
to bargain a contract that is competitive with others in Bergen
County, yet fiscally responsible. The quality of our public schools
affects property values, our community, and most importantly – our