Old Bridge School Board Reviews Clean Audit and Budget Considerations, Debates Enrollment and Policy Concerns

The Old Bridge School Board met on December 12, 2023, addressing various financial and policy matters. Key points included an unblemished audit report for the 2022-2023 school year, discussion of reserve balances and state aid application, and a looming issue about policy 5756. Superintendent David Cittadino, Salvatore Giordano, and others engaged in robust conversations about potential enrollment of young students, a suggestion for later high school start time, and the completion of evaluations for the superintendent and the board.

The meeting began with a detailed report from independent auditor Michael Panel on the financial health of the Old Bridge School District. Panel’s audit, covering the year ending on June 30, 2023, showed no findings for misappropriation or misrepresentation, a fact that came as a relief to board member Salvatore Giordano. The fund balance allocation stood at a substantial $4,162,199.26, indicating a strong financial standing. Panel lauded the district staff’s cooperation during the audit process and underscored the timely filing of the audit with state and county agencies.

Superintendent David Cittadino spotlighted the district’s consistent reserve balances year to year, a testament to the district’s prudent budgeting. The board also discussed the application for state aid, a process contingent on the verified student count in the district. The absence of any irregularities in the student count or fund usage provided an assurance of the district’s operational integrity.

Policy 5756 emerged as a contentious point, with resident Antonio Carvalo voicing concerns about potential lawsuits and the allocation of resources to such matters. He also queried about the framework of the policy, which another resident feared could impact parental involvement and student safety.

Board members grappled with the proposal of enrolling three and four-year-old students into the district. They outlined state requirements for class sizes and the financial implications, expressing concerns about the budget. A noteworthy suggestion for a later high school start time was broached, with the board acknowledging the wide-ranging effects this could have on transportation, parental schedules, and other services.

The meeting also featured commendations for Old Bridge High School students who participated in the Toys for Tots collection. Public Relations Coordinator Scott Mella highlighted their efforts in collecting thousands of toys for the cause.

With evaluations for the superintendent and the board due by year-end, the board members addressed the need to fulfill their obligations to the students and staff.

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.

David Cittadino
School Board Officials:
Salvatore Giordano, Matt Sulikowski, Jennifer D’Antuono, Marjorie Jodrey, Lisa Lent, Leonardo Marchetta, Devinder Singh, Jay D. Slade, Frank Weber

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