Henry Hudson Regional School
Henry Hudson Regional School (AHH file photo)

HIGHLANDS – -Continuing with the cooperative spirit among elected municipal officials and boards of education members that will hopefully put the question of school regionalization on the November ballot, the three boards of education approved their resolutions at a meeting last night that asks the Commissioner of Education to approve a Pre-K though 12 school district for Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Henry Hudson Regional, and Sea Bright borough. 

At a workshop meeting of the Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council earlier Tuesday evening, attorney Matthew Giacobbe said he feels confident that the history making question before the Commissioner of Education should have a favorable response and be returned to the boroughs in time to meet the Aug. 15 deadline for putting the question on the ballot. Giacobbe said he felt confident the boroughs’ resolutions would be sent this week.

   In the resolution adopted by the school boards last night, board members indicated that while they want to include Sea Bright in the new K-12 regional district, should anything detain that borough from being included, they nonetheless want to proceed with establishing a pre-K-12 regional school district with Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, and Henry Hudson. Such action does not change anything other than eliminating the current boards of education and replacing them with a single board with representation from all school districts included in the new regional district. The number of board members from each town in the district is established by census figures from 2020 if approved in the November election.

    Under the resolution adopted by the boards last evening, the resolution cites the many reasons why a Pre-K-12 regional district should be pursued on a referendum.  It also notes the boards’ desire to proceed with the referendum regardless of any problems Sea Bright might have in its negotiations with Oceanport and West Long Branch, where Sea Bright students currently attend school. However, it includes the resolve that the members want Sea Bright to be included “at the earliest possible date,” it not at the onset of the new district.

     The question on the ballot, as the resolution indicates, will provide voters “with the ability to decide how their tax dollars are best spent and how their children are educated”


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  The resolution also includes a caveat that approval for a vote was granted “ subject to agreement concerning apportionment of revenues and a cost-savings sharing plan.  That cost savings is currently being negotiated between the two boroughs’ boards.

   Concerning Sea Bright, the three boards resolved  “that Sea Bright may join the expanded PK-12 Henry Hudson School District as soon as permitted to do so,” but regardless, the plan for the three boards is still desirable with the expectation Sea Bright would be included, if not immediately as soon as possible afterwards.

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Muriel J. Smith

Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, www.venividiscripto.com in...