School Board Tackles E-rate Funding and Baseball Program Concerns

In a recent meeting, the Pequannock School Board was presented with a resolution for a bid on internet service and infrastructure, discussed the need for equitable funding across academic and athletic programs, and addressed community concerns about the high school baseball program’s coaching support. The board also heard a proposal for the creation of a business and finance academy at the high school.

One notable issue discussed at the meeting was the bid on internet service and the E-rate funding program. A presentation by Mr. Shay outlined how E-rate funding, which is based on free and reduced lunch numbers, assists with internet and Wide Area Network (WAN) services and infrastructure. The board is considering a 60/40 calculation for Pequannock School District’s E-rate funding. This move could potentially save the district nearly $100,000 over two years by reducing the number of WAN lines and increasing internet speed. The resolution for the bid, which was the culmination of planning since October, included internet service, dark fiber, and licensing for infrastructure. The board expressed confidence in their e-rate consultant’s ability to manage the application process.

The board also addressed concerns about the high school baseball program. Enrollment has increased in the past six years, and there were discussions about the potential lack of coaching support for the thriving programs. Community members, including a Little League board member, advocated for the reallocation of funds to support teams with the highest registration numbers, while exploring volunteer opportunities for additional coaching. The superintendent acknowledged the importance of the baseball program and the need for effective communication, promising to find creative solutions to support all student programs.

Students from the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) requested approval for a field trip to the State Leadership Conference and raised concerns about funding disparities between academic programs and athletic teams. In response, the board was encouraged to consider the financial burden on students attending state-level competitions and to equalize funding for all student programs. The Pequannock Township Education Association president supported the students’ concerns and also expressed support for the initiative to name the high school gym after a former staff member.

Further discussions touched on the allocation of resources and support for different student programs. This included a proposal for a business and finance academy at the high school. The board acknowledged the success of the school’s business programs and the potential benefits of such an academy.

In the public comments section, concerns were raised about fundraising for coaches and staff, and suggestions were made for the district to accept donations to help accommodate the variety of activities within the school’s budget. A discrepancy in step raises for some activities compared to small incremental raises for others was also questioned. Additionally, recognition was given to the high school’s a cappella group.

Other business conducted during the meeting included the upcoming insurance inspections for the high school’s media center and considerations regarding the naming of a gym after a staff member. The board also read a letter from the Salvation Army thanking the district for donating Pequannock band T-shirts. The public was informed of the next meeting’s date at the conclusion of the session.

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.
Michael Portas
School Board Officials:
Brian Senyk, Danielle Esposito, Joseph Blumert, Sam Ciresi, Megan Dempsey, Timothy Gitin, Greg MacSweeney, Vincent Pompeo, Cara Shenton

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