Dozens of Bayonne non-tenured teachers' jobs were saved Monday night district-wide as the result of a budget meeting, but it comes at a cost.
After approval of a new budget, around 88 of the 287 teachers who had been laid off were reinstated, including several special educators.
The new budget, coming amid protests and rallies, includes a school tax increase of nearly six percent, which means the average Bayonne homeowner will pay around $150 more in taxes.
Inside the meeting, the crowd was fired up, voicing their frustration and questioning school board members about the ongoing budget crisis, a shortfall of at least $6 million.
"What I really want to hear is that it really matters to them, that this money is missing," Bayonne parent Mark Downey said. "It seems as business as usual. We're off a few million dollars. We're talking a lot of money."
Almost two weeks ago, hundreds of students walked out of classes at Bayonne High School to protest the district-wide layoffs approved by the school board.
An estimated 200 to 300 kids walked out, a school official had told News 4 New York. Video posted by the school's student government on Twitter shows massive crowds milling about, chanting and blocking an intersection.
The school's principal and the town's mayor tried to quiet the crowds, apparently to no avail.
"We care about them. They are our mentors, we tell them about our problems," said Elmer Beltran.
Now, students are eager to see a list of teachers who are coming back next year.
The board announced an audit, and will receive a state monitor to oversee the financial situation.
The state of New Jersey is committing a loan to help out.
But the school board president said he didn't know how much the loan would be, when they'll get it, nor when they would have to pay it back.