A proposed policy that would have allowed teachers who live in-district to enroll their children at the high school where they are currently employed was rejected 4-3 during Monday night's Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District’s Board of Education meeting, despite pleas by staff members for the board to reconsider.
Three staff members, including president of the local teachers' union, had spoken in favor of the policy's passage. One implied that, as a result of the policy's rejection, some staff members could reconsider coaching their respective sports.
Board Vice President Margaret Guenther said she voted no because of similar requests the board had received from residents over the years. The board had always rejected these requests and, at Monday night's meeting, she said she believed it would be unfair to allow teachers to enroll their children at the high school they are currently assigned when other taxpayers' would not be.
"Once we allow this to happen, we'll have taxpayers come here and want their children to go elsewhere," fellow board member Jennifer Johnson said.
Johnson said she "wrestled" with this proposed policy. Even though she is friends with at least one of the staff members who spoke at Monday night's meeting, she had to put that friendship aside, and she had to vote what she felt was best for everyone, not solely the teachers.
Superintendent of Schools Steven Ciccarelli said that the issue would likely be reviewed again next month when the policy subcommittee next meets.
In other business, the Greater Egg Regional Board of Education is expected to see the proposed 2012-13 budget for the first time at its Feb. 27 meeting.
Business Administrator Charles Mueller said during Monday's board meeting that work has already begun on the budget; however, it does not reflect any state aid the school district may receive for next school year. That's because the state aid amount has not been released as of yet.
The tentative budget includes staff salaries and benefits, additional staff and restoring activities to 2009 levels, Muller said, noting that they would continue to work on the budget even after getting the state aid figures.
The district is to submit the budget to the County Board of Education for review by March 5.