East Brunswick School Board Meeting Highlights Student Achievements and Financial Excellence

The East Brunswick School Board recently convened to celebrate student accomplishments, recognize financial achievements, and address important district matters. Superintendent Victor Valeski began the meeting by applauding the High School AP apple team’s success in the New Jersey state We the People competition and acknowledging the high school’s award-winning German program. The students’ participation in the Great Kindness Challenge and various achievements in art, language, and sports were also highlighted.

In addition to student achievements, the Board recognized the wrestling programs’ fundraising efforts for the Marissa Taro Foundation. These presentations illuminated the meeting with a sense of pride and optimism.

Financial stability and excellence were key focal points of the meeting, as evidenced by the 2023 annual comprehensive financial report presented by Joe. The district’s decade-long record of financial accolades from the Association of School Business Officials International and the Governmental Finance Officers Association was notable, with only a single missed year due to COVID. The general fund reported $178 million in revenue and a year-end fund balance of $21 million, while the special revenue fund saw changes in grant awards.

Board members engaged with the financial report, seeking clarification on the decrease in ebf funds and the scope of Charter Schools under the general fund. Joe detailed the timing of the end of Esser funds, set for August 2024, and the speaker lauded the financial team’s efforts, quoting Vince Lombardi on the importance of teamwork.

Ethical conduct was another topic addressed during the meeting. Jody presented information on the school ethics act, outlining the significance of avoiding conflicts of interest and the necessity of recusal when appropriate. The board attorney stressed the importance of board members adhering to the School Ethics Act and the potential repercussions of ethical violations, including the impact on the tax base and property values.

The public comment section saw no participation, leading to discussions on curriculum and instruction, financial services, human resources, and student services. The board deliberated on the expansion of Orton Gillingham trained teachers, the launch of a Unified Sports Club, and the organization of a cake decorating contest at Memorial School.

Members of the board shared their experiences and initiatives, with Laurie Herrick discussing Kindness Week and Timothy Cummings recounting his volunteer work at Elijah’s Promise. Heather Guas highlighted the Human Relations Council’s efforts to celebrate diversity, and Liwu Hong encouraged participation in the Chinese New Year celebration.

The meeting also addressed administrative concerns, with Mark Csizmar clarifying the frequency of security committee meetings and advocating for more inclusivity by holding some meetings outside of closed sessions. This sparked a debate with Superintendent Valeski on the scheduling and accessibility of these meetings.

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.

Victor Valeski
School Board Officials:
Laurie Lachs, Heather Guas, Vicki Becker, Timothy Cummings, Mark Csizmar, Laurie Herrick, Liwu Hong, Barbara Reiss, Jeffrey Winston

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