MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Ready. Set. Wait.
Middletown parents, who would typically have their children enrolled in 'before and after' school programs for September by this time, will have to wait until at least mid summer. They were not happy about it:
The agenda on Wednesday originally included a presentation scheduled by a for-profit company call Right at School. Following the presentation, Dr. George listed his recommendation to hire them and terminate the YMCA.
In a surprise move, the board instead cancelled the presentation, tabled his recommendation and went into closed session. No explanation was given.
Later in the meeting, a resolution was adopted by an 8-1 vote (one member abstained without explanation) to go out again for proposals, utilizing the 'competitive contracting' provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law.
The expectation is that it would be advertised in a few days with a 20 day period for proposals to be returned. The earliest a contract would be approved would be the end of July or beginning of August. This caused some dismay with the parents in attendance in regard to being able to plan for the next school year. Some stated they wanted to enroll their children that very night with the YMCA.
The YMCA was supported by a large showing of parents at the meeting. Also in attendance were board members and employees of the YMCA as well as the President and CEO. Nobody spoke on behalf of the Chicago firm recommended by George.
“The Community YMCA values our long-standing relationship with the Middletown Township Public School District and we are grateful for the opportunity to support Middletown families in helping their children learn, grow and thrive through a wide array of programs and services.” said The Community YMCA President & CEO Laurie Goganzer in a statement released Thursday.
”On behalf of the nearly 1,000 Middletown families we serve in the YKids before and after school program, The Community YMCA would like to thank the Middletown Board of Education for agreeing to reissue a Request for Proposal for before and after school care services.”
“The Y was saddened and disappointed when we learned that we were not being considered as the district’s before and after school provider for the 2019-20 school year. We’ve been a loyal and supportive partner to the school district and have provided life-changing programs to Middletown families well beyond childcare, including therapeutic counseling, suicide prevention and free tutoring and family activities. In fact, the school district honored the Y with their community partner award last year. As a nonprofit, charitable organization, the Y exists to strengthen our community.”
“We appreciate the scores of concerned parents and Y team members who came out to support the Y at the Board meeting last night and we encourage them to continue to express their support of the Y to the school district.”
The superintendent did not make any comments at the meeting. It is live streamed by the board and their website can be found HERE