Hackensack Contract Negotiations Update

Hackensack Contract Negotiations Update

Members of the Rochelle Park Community:

Recently there has been some confusion about our current relationship with the Hackensack School District and the state of our negotiations for a successor tuition contract. Obviously, I am unable to go into details about the ongoing negotiations until the contract is settled, but let me share with you what I can at this time. 

During the 2016-17 school year, the last year of our seven-year contract with Hackensack, our district paid $14,781 per pupil in tuition. With the contract expiring on June 30, 2017 and no successor contract in place, we were ‘informally’ led to believe that tuition for the current school year would go up by 2%, which is not in our previous contract, but language to this effect exists in the tuition contracts of at least one of the other sending districts (i.e., Maywood and South Hackensack). 

A 2% increase over last year would have resulted in a tuition rate this year of $15,076 – a number that has been widely quoted in the newspapers and by various officials in Maywood, Rochelle Park, and South Hackensack (though not by Hackensack and not by this office). While it is certainly understandable why many individuals were quoting this number, it turns out that the $15,076 figure is not correct. Hackensack has already agreed that the tuition rate for 2017-18 is to be frozen at the same rate as 2016-17 – that is to say at $14,781. Since Hackensack themselves has made that commitment publicly, I feel comfortable in divulging this aspect of our negotiations to date with you at this time.

There is a lot of speculation and rumor out in the community and some of this is coming out of our neighbors and good partners to the East – Maywood. Please know that Maywood’s issues and Rochelle Park’s issues are not the same. Maywood owes a very considerable additional sum of money, often referred to as arrearages, while Rochelle Park owes NONE. We are negotiating from very different places.

I hope this message has cleared up some of the confusion, but if anyone would like to reach out to me, feel free to email me at gzoeller@rochellepark.org or call me at 201-843-3120 ext 114.

Very sincerely yours,

Geoffrey W. Zoeller, Jr., Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools