#b#Schools#/b#. Princeton Borough and Township comprise the Princeton Regional School District. The district has five elementary and middle schools and one high school.
The Princeton school district generally receives high marks in the state. New Jersey Monthly, which puts out a biennial ranking of the state’s 322 high schools, ranked Princeton High at No. 44 in 2010.
Princeton High typically is viewed in how it compares to Montgomery High School and the two high schools in the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District. In New Jersey Monthly’s rankings, Princeton finished last in this group of four — Montgomery was ranked No. 10 (the highest in Somerset County), WW-P South was 16 (the highest in Mercer County), and WWP-North was 29.
According to the state Department of Education, which releases an annual report on school district performance, Princeton High had a 98 percent graduation rate in 2010 (the state average is 94.7 percent). Ninety-seven percent of students scored as proficient or higher in standardized language tests (state average: 90 percent) and 92 percent scored as proficient or higher in standardized math tests (state average: 82 percent). About 60 percent of the school’s teachers have at least a master’s degree. By comparison, the Montgomery and WW-P schools all boast a graduation rate of more than 99 percent and comparable standardized test scores.
#b#People and Politics#/b#. New Jersey Monthly ranked Princeton the 354th best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the state’s 566 municipalities. The rankings are based on criteria such as median home sales, crime rates, joblessness, and population growth.
According to the U.S. Census, the 1.85-square-mile Princeton Borough had 12,307 residents in 2010; the 18.5-square-mile Princeton Township had 16,265.
Princeton Borough is run by an elected mayor, who operates as the borough CEO, and six council members. Two council members are elected every year, each to three-year terms. All are Democrats.
#b#Consolidation#/b#. The idea to consolidate Princeton Borough and Township is back in the public eye and will be on the November 8 ballot for voters to decide. Consolidation talk last made the rounds in 1996, when it faced stiff opposition from a group calling itself Preserve Our Historic Borough. That group has been revived for the same purpose of defeating a merger. On the other side, Unite Princeton, a pro-merger group, is hoping to get the referendum passed.
Whatever the outcome of the merger, all the math points to a potential savings of about 2.2 percent from current expenses. But any potential savings could also hinge upon whether the state would give a unified Princeton $17 million in transition aid.