Game of musical chairs looms for Squan BOE

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Manasquan High School. FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR

BELMAR — The way sending districts are represented on the Manasquan Board of Education [BOE] may soon be changing.

At the Belmar Board of Education reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, Superintendent David Hallman said he had received a letter from Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools Lester Richens explaining that there is a problem with the way the sending districts are represented on the Manasquan BOE.

Currently, three sending districts have seats on the Manasquan school board — Brielle, Spring Lake Heights and Belmar.

According to state regulations, schools that send more than 10 percent of a high school’s student body are entitled to a seat on the receiving school’s board of education, Mr. Hallman said.

In Manasquan, each of the three sending districts have a seat on the board, accounting for three of its 12 seats.

However, when other sending districts account for a combined 15 percent or more of the receiving school’s student body, they become entitled to share a seat on the board.

“The problem is then we have four districts — being Avon, Lake Como, Spring Lake and Sea Girt, that equate — they’re about 5 percent of the population [each] — somewhere between 15 to 20 percent. Then you have three districts that have over 10 percent, so that equals four seats but the regulation also says that you’re only allowed three seats,” said Mr. Hallman.

According to Mr. Hallman, Belmar makes up about 12 percent of the Manasquan High School population, Spring Lake Heights 13 percent and Brielle 24 to 25 percent.

“It doesn’t say anywhere in there that the 10 percenters supercede the 15 percent of the combined districts. So, we got a letter from the Executive Superintendent Les Richens, saying you guys have to figure something out, work together,” said Mr. Hallman, who added it’s the board of education’s decision to vote on how to proceed.

Manasquan BOE President Tom Pellegrino confirmed that each district received a similar letter.

“In the normal world, they would rotate that seat, but because all of the districts by one statute or another are eligible for a seat, now they’re going to have to come up with a plan where they rotate the three seats,” said Mr. Pellegrino.

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