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    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: July 1, 2009


13 Non-Operating School Districts Eliminated

Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy today announced the State has eliminated 13 school districts that were operating without any schools and with relatively few students.

The elimination and merger of the so-called non-operating school districts comes a day after Governor Jon S. Corzine signed legislation to establish procedures for merging the districts with larger, neighboring districts where children from the non-operating districts already attend classes.  The legislation ensures compliance with a 2007 law that included numerous requirements to enhance efficiency and accountability in the operation of school districts.
        
“This is an important step forward in Governor Corzine’s efforts to share services and make government more efficient,” said Commissioner Davy.  “These districts don’t operate any schools; they are charged tuition by the districts to which they send their students.  Many of them have only a handful of students, yet they have boards of education and many hire staff to fulfill their duties. 

“It is important to note, however, that eliminating the districts will have no impact whatsoever on the quality of the education provided,” the Commissioner said.  “Children will continue to attend the same schools and enjoy the same educational opportunities.”

The concept of eliminating these non-operating districts was first proposed in a legislative study in 1969.   Forty years later, Governor Jon S. Corzine signed legislation paving the way to eliminating the state’s non-operating school districts.  With the mergers announced today, the number of districts in the state is decreased 616 to 603; when the final 13 districts are eliminated, there will be 590 districts.

The commissioner said the initial 13 mergers are effective July 1 to coincide with the start of the State and school fiscal years. “We wanted this to be as seamless as possible,” she said.

Commissioner Davy said that the first 13 districts eliminated were those that were in a sending-receiving relationship with a single school district.  The remaining 13 districts have additional considerations that must be addressed before a merger can be effectuated.  The Executive County Superintendents in these counties will continue to review these matters and will advise the Commissioner when a transition can be made.

Here is the list of the 13 non-operating districts eliminated effective today:

County

District Eliminated

District Nonop Merged With

Burlington

Pemberton Boro

Pemberton Twp (k-12)

Camden

Audubon Park

Audubon Boro (K-12)

Camden

Tavistock

Haddonfield (K-12)

Cumberland

Shiloh Boro

Hopewell Twp (K-8)

Hunterdon

Glen Gardner

Clinton Town (K-8)

Middlesex

Helmetta

Spotswood (K-12)

Monmouth

Sea Bright Boro

Oceanport Boro (K-8)

Morris

Victory Gardens

Dover Town (K-12)

Ocean

Mantoloking

Point Pleasant Beach Boro (K-12)

Somerset

Millstone

Hillsborough Twp (K-12)

Somerset

Rocky Hill

Montgomery Twp (K-12)

Sussex

Branchville Boro

Frankford Twp (K-8)

Warren

Hardwick

Blairstown Twp (K-6)

The reports of the Executive County Superintendent on the elimination of the initial 13 non-operating districts are available here:  http://www.state.nj.us/education/counties/

The remaining 13 non-operating districts that will be addressed at a later date are Longport (Atlantic), Corbin City (Atlantic), Rockleigh (Bergen), Teterboro (Bergen), Pine Valley (Camden), Chesilhurst (Camden), Hi Nella (Camden), Cape May Point (Cape May), West Wildwood (Cape May), Newfield (Gloucester), Allenhurst (Monmouth), Interlaken (Monmouth), and Lake Como (Monmouth).