FREEHOLD BOROUGH — It was a long, arduous fight that was a decade in the making. School and local officials, concerned with overcrowding in the borough’s classrooms, pleaded with the state for help after residents had twice rejected referendums on proposed expansion. Those officials finally got the answer they hoped for Thursday afternoon when Education Commissioner… Read the rest of this entry »Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Author: admin | Filed under: Education, Freehold, Monmouth County News | Tags: Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer, Freehold Boro Board of Education, Freehold Borough School Expansion, Freehold Borough School Referendum, Monmouth County News, Senator Jennifer Beck | Comments Off on Officials praise ‘historic’ ruling on $32M Freehold school expansion
FREEHOLD — The sign that hangs above the door says “library.” But students at Park Avenue Elementary School don’t come here to check out books. The room has been overtaken, repurposed into seven miniature and makeshift classrooms partitioned only by thin, 6-foot temporary dividers. Students learning English as their second language sit between those dividers, meeting… Read the rest of this entry »Posted: July 5th, 2015 | Author: admin | Filed under: Education, Freehold, Immigration, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: Education, Freehold Boro Board of Education, Freehold Borough, Freehold Borough School Referendum, Immigration, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, School funding | 1 Comment »
Rejected by voters twice, Freehold Boro Board of Ed moves to borrow $33 million for school construction
Superintendent of Schools: Referendum would have passed if illegals could vote
Residents are asked to comment after voting twice
By Caitlin Brown, Contributor
Despite two rejections by voters, the Freehold Borough School District has decided to move forward with plans to force taxpayers to borrow $33 million for the financing of state of the art construction and renovation to the district’s current schools, in order to cope with the influx of undocumented residents to the borough and the subsequent overcrowding of 500 additional students to the school district.
The Board of Education has decided to appeal to the New Jersey Comissioner of Education for the appropriation and authorization of the school bonds, but are required by State Department of Education guidelines to provide a public comment period for residents, open until June 8.
The referendum in dispute was first rejected in September and again in December, by residents who balked at the bond referendum’s total cost of $32,902,400. The proposal calls for bonds of $22,091,500 for the construction of additions to the Park Avenue Elementary and Intermediate School, including: an additional cafeteria; an additional gymnasium; four new classrooms; an additional girls’ locker room; renovations to five existing classrooms; renovations to one of the two boys’ locker rooms; and a new library/media room, as a result of the existing library having been converted due to lack of space elsewhere into cubicles for special needs and ESL learning, according to the district’s superintendent, Rocco Tomazic. A total of $10,633,300 is also being sought for the building of 13 pre-K and kindergarten classrooms at the Freehold Learning Center, as well as renovations to the cafeteria and a new kitchen receiving area, according to the district’s referendum schematic plans.admin | Filed under: Education, Freehold, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: Caitlin Brown, Commissioner of Education, Freehold Boro, Freehold Boro Board of Education, Freehold Borough, Freehold Borough School Referendum, Gianna Dell'Omo, Monmouth County News, Public Comments, Rocco Tomazic, School Construction Funding | 7 Comments »
In Freehold, 611 voters, 11% of those registered rejected borrowing $33 million for school construction by 241 to 370. An identical referendum was defeated by Borough voters on September 30 by 273 to 374. There are 1644 students residing in the district. The average property tax bill in Freehold Borough would have increased by $278 per year had the measure passed.Art Gallagher | Filed under: Education, Elections, Freehold, Monmouth County, Ocean Township, West Long Branch | Tags: Freehold Borough School Referendum, Monmouth County, Ocean Township School Referendum, School Referendums, West Long Branch School Referendum | 3 Comments »
Whether the Borough’s residents voted for or against the Board’s referendum, no one can deny that the overcrowding has been and remains an issue which requires an acceptable solution. The conflict arises as to whether the solution should cost the Freehold Borough taxpayers close to $33 million.
A recent newspaper article read that 36 Borough pupils have been honored for earning a perfect score of 300 on the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge testing. Despite the lack of proper classroom space, the teachers and students have managed to overcome and excel, which should be commended. The dedication of the staff and the willingness of the students to learn is, in fact, the true essence of an education. No matter where the lesson is held, whether in a classroom, a gymnasium, in the corridor or under a tree in the courtyard, the core of education is in the connection made between the teacher and his pupil, not the venue.admin | Filed under: Abbott Ruling, Education, Freehold, Monmouth County | Tags: $33 million, Abbot Designation, Abbott Ruling, Education, Freehold Borough, Freehold Borough School Referendum, Gianna Dell'Omo, school, School funding | Comments Off on Freehold Borough School Referendum December 9th