Following Feasibility Study, Lakehurst and Manchester School Officials Set to Meet
'Significant' increase in communications between districts since feasibility study was released, according to Lakehurst school board vice president
Education officials from Manchester and Lakehurst are set to meet Friday to see how they can better communicate with one another, according to the borough's school board Vice President.
The meeting, during which the superintendents, business administrators and board of education presidents and vice presidents are set to meet comes days after Lakehurst school officials released the findings of a study they commissioned outlining the effects should the borough end a high school sending-receiving agreement with Manchester and switch to Jackson.
"I can tell you after our presentation Tuesday night and our meeting with the Manchester Board of Education Wednesday, significant communication has reopened between Lakehurst and Manchester," Lakehurst Board of Education Vice President Kevin Oliver told the Borough Council during their regular meeting Thursday.
The meeting, Oliver said, will be a way "to see how we may start opening our communications better."
The study concludes that Lakehurst taxpayers would see a cost savings and possibly greater educational offerings if its students attended high school in Jackson, rather than Manchester. However, Manchester officials said the tuition data in the feasibility study is flawed, leading to overstated cost-savings estimates.
The meeting set for Friday "will include dollars and some of what has been stated as misunderstandings in the feasibility study," Oliver said.
Oliver was appointed in September as Lakehurst's liaison to the Manchester Board of Education and represented the borough there on Wednesday. He took over the spot from Lakehurst Board of Education President JoAnn Septor after an accusation that Manchester administrators were trying to "strong-arm" Lakehurst with regard to the feasibility study. Manchester administrators have said that they cooperated with the study authors.
Lakehurst school district's Business Administrator Barry Parliman said on Tuesday that the two school districts have no problem talking with one another.
"Please be assured, our lines of communication are very, very open, warm, friendly and professional at this point," he said.
While Jackson would offer more courses and co-curricular opportunities, both schools "compare favorably" with their district factor groups on the HSPA and SAT tests and provide a safe environment for students, the report finds.
Parents at the Tuesday night Lakehurst school board meeting spoke out against the potential switch, saying that they are more concerned about their children's socialisation rather than tax savings.