April 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Learn how South Hunterdon’s four school boards worked together for six years to create one unified school district, at Courage to Connect New Jersey's (CtoCNJ) fourth-annual statewide seminar on Friday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon.
CtoCNJ is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that supports local officials and citizens through the consolidation or regionalization process. CtoCNJ urges school board members and residents across the state to attend the four-hour seminar and join the discussion. The program takes place at the Robert Meyner Conference Center at the PNC Arts Center on the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel.
"If the current financial constraints continue to put pressure on school districts, it will be difficult to meet the educational needs and goals of the community," said Anthony Del Sordi, a former school business administrator for Scotch Plains who serves on the CtoCNJ board. “The big question needs to be asked: Could the school district provide a better education for its children, at less cost, if it pooled its resources with the school districts next door?”
That question will be addressed May 2 by representatives from South Hunterdon's four school boards. They held a special election last year in which 87 percent of the voters in each town supported dissolving their existing four school districts and creating one larger, more sustainable district.
The first panel of the morning will focus on the efforts of 42 school board members who took an idea, conducted a study, then put the regionalization of their school districts on the ballot. Follow their journey with the people who made it happen, including Vito Gagliardi, Esq., special counsel to South Hunterdon for regionalization; Steven Wolock, former president Lambertville School Board; James Gallagher, former president of the Stockton School Board; Dan Seiter of the South Hunterdon Regional School Board and Karen Conlon, a member of the South Hunterdon School Board.
The second panel will include former Princeton Mayor Chad Goerner, who will outline the many benefits of the Princeton merger last January. Goerner will be joined by Derek Roseman and Celeste Mosby, members of the South Hunterdon Joint Board of Education, who will be discussing some of the issues that South Hunterdon has been addressing as their four school districts become one this July.
The final panel will focus on the financial benefits of school regionalization. It will feature Dagney Faulk, Ph.D, Director for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University in Indiana, as well as Jeffrey Scott, a retired Hunterdon County Superintendent of Schools, and Anthony Del Sordi, as a school finance expert.
To register for the conference or to learn more, visit www.CouragetoConnectNJ.org.