Something just like this happened many years ago. The population from the sending districts to Atlantic City High School had declined and the Atlantic City Board of Education quickly moved to take away their representation on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Then New Jersey Senator Bill Gormley led an effort to combine the population of the sending districts and they were able to keep some representation on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Originally, there was a board member from Ventnor, Margate and Brigantine, who served on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Now, Ventnor City’s population to Atlantic City High School has declined and they are at risk of losing their member on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Doug Biagi, President of the Ventnor city Board of Education received a letter from the state of New Jersey on November 29, 2022, advising him that Ventnor’s student population level no longer meets the amount required for Ventnor to have a member on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

The letter is all business. It begins:

“The Department of Education has verified the appropriate representation of sending district board of education members (Ventnor) on the receiving board of education (Atlantic City).”

The sending district board member on the Atlantic City Board of Education, is permitted to vote on all matters that involve it’s students.

This is very significant, as it involves votes for the annual school budget, the hiring of a superintendent, and any other matter that directly affects the sending district students.

Atlantic City has never liked this.

We had a discussion about this with New Jersey Senator Vince Polistina, who said: “We are currently reviewing the options to maintain representation from the sending districts on the ACBOE. Clearly, when communities are providing millions of dollars for the educational system in Atlantic City they deserve to have a say in how that money is being spent,” said Polistina.

The number fluctuates, but, at last check, Ventnor has 161 students attending Atlantic City High School.

Ventnor Mayor Beth Maccagnano Holtzman said:

“I am working on regaining our seat back . Even though we don’t meet quota by law having 161 students attending AcHS we should have a voice at the table.”

“This is is a result of school choice … not private Catholic schools,” said Maccagnano Holtzman.

The state of New Jersey letter further states:

“The Ventnor School District sends 161 students to the Atlantic City School District for grades 9 through 12.”

”This represents 9.15 percent of the 1,760 students attending those grades.”

“Based on these data, the percentage of pupils attending Atlantic City School District  is less than 10 percent (the standard for representation); therefore, Ventnor is not entitled to representation on the Atlantic City School District Board of Education.”

It’s unimaginable that a city (Ventnor) would be expected to pay in excess of $ 4 million per-year and not be provided with proper representation.

However, that is exactly what is about to happen to Ventnor, if this is injustice is not reversed.

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Further, there is a lag in these population numbers. Ventnor’s number is most likely less than the current 161 students listed as attending Atlantic City High School at this time.

Developing.

SOURCES: Various Atlantic City & Ventnor Board of Education Members & Letter from New Jersey Department of Education.

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