Asbury Park School Board Places Superintendent on Leave, Addresses Financial Irregularities

During a recent meeting, the Asbury Park School Board made the critical decision to place Superintendent RaShawn M. Adams on paid administrative leave. The board also appointed a new Acting Superintendent, who acknowledged the challenges ahead and expressed gratitude for the opportunity. Additionally, deficiencies and material weaknesses in the district’s financial reporting were highlighted by an auditor’s report, which raised concerns among board members and prompted discussions about potential training issues and documentation problems.

The meeting, which included a range of presentations and discussions, saw the board move into executive session twice. Following the second executive session, the decision to place Dr. Adams on leave was debated, with members voicing concerns about potential biases and the future of the district. The board then approved the appointment of a new Acting Superintendent. Members of the board expressed concerns about political influences and emphasized the importance of prioritizing the education of students, particularly from marginalized communities. One member, who had served for over a year, voiced disappointment in the board’s focus and reiterated the need to center attention on the children’s education.

Financial accountability took center stage as the finance committee presented its report. The auditor discussed unaudited letters from management and the district’s fund balances, pointing out significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in financial reporting. Misstated numbers in the aid application for the school and potential training issues were topics of concern. Questions about board representation in the report led to a dialogue regarding the responsibilities of the business administrator and the corrective actions taken to address the audit findings.

The policy committee reported on recommended changes stemming from a federal audit, while the athletic committee highlighted the need for coaches, particularly for football. The buildings and grounds committee deliberated on the sale of the maintenance building, upcoming budget project considerations, and reviewed options for the Obama building. In addition, the potential partnership allowing the district to retain ownership of a property and generate income was a subject of interest, with the board eager to expedite the process. The Asbury Park Tennis Initiative proposed paying for the construction of tennis courts.


Public participation brought forward emotional comments from the community, including gratitude from the president of the Asbury Park Education Association towards the board’s cooperation with the newly appointed superintendent. A community member criticized the district for not prioritizing student needs, especially in the middle school, and highlighted concerns about the state of the buildings. A parent discussed the violation of her son’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the scarcity of resources at the middle school.

The meeting also heard from a speech therapist who expressed concern about the lack of support for students with reading difficulties. The therapist urged the board to prioritize student well-being and address the pressing educational challenges. Additionally, incidents of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) were addressed, with one incident leading to restitution and restoration. The State monitor’s report focused on budget development and the district’s financial stability for the upcoming year.

Agenda items considered by the board included a consent agenda with a variety of items. However, confusion arose during the voting process, particularly concerning the approval of specific items. Questions were raised about payments to “college achieve,” the verification of students residing in the district, Esser transfers to transportation, charter school transportation costs, and a significant charge labeled as “business marketing,” later clarified as related to gas services.


Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

RaShawn M. Adams
School Board Officials:
Kenneth E. Saunders, Jr., Giuseppe Grillo, Wendi Glassman, Barbara Lesinski, Dr. Michael Penna, Anthony Remy, Jessiemae Ricks, Tracy Rogers, Chanta L. Jackson (Communications Coordinator)

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