School Consolidation Study Funds Still Up in the Air

On June 14, the first-ever education summit took place at Mendham High School, and saw 25 elected school and government officials from Washington Township, the Chesters and Mendhams come together to discuss funding formulas and possible redistricting among the schools in the municipalities. 

The topic of a feasibility study was brought up late in the meeting and the cost it would force upon the taxpayers within the five sending districts. The study would be used to disseminate details and demographic data essential in figuring out which direction the municipalities should take with regards to changes in funding, consolidation or dissolution. A feasibility study, according to members of the summit’s dais as well as Gina Genovese of Courage to Connect New Jersey, costs upwards of $50,000. James Button, the Mendham Township representative to the West Morris Regional Board of Education, spoke to the panel–as a member of the audience–and said that he met with both Governor Chris Christie and acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf recently. Button said that after explaining the region’s situation to them, Cerf said, repeatedly, that he would “take care of” a feasibility study, if it came to that.

This article originally appeared in the Long Valley Patch.

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