The Bayonne Board of Education unanimously approved (6-0) a corrective action plan in response to a bond reimbursement review of $11.8 million by the State Department of Education’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance at Tuesday’s meeting.
The three-part corrective action plan first addressed the school district’s alleged failure to pay the city $11.8 million in school development authority improvements.
The allegation was inconclusive due to a lack of “verifiable, factual documentation of their respective representations.” As a result, all future bonded SDA funds will be sent to the city to reduce bond debt, which will be memorialized by board resolution.
On the same note, to verify the amounts of any SDA funds transferred to the city after May 15th, 2015, these transactions will also be memorialized by board resolution.
The final and most comprehensive measure regarding future agreements with the city says: “the agreements are to be executed in accordance with applicable statue regulation, and according [to] best practices.”
The action also calls for “an appropriate written agreement,” whether it is intra-local, shared services or a memorandum of understanding that is, once again, memorialized by board resolution.
While the meeting was packed, with residents hard-pressed to find a seat at the venue, only Gina Irizarry – a former teacher in the school district and recent BOE candidate – questioned the board about the situation.
Board President William Lawson quickly clarified that the school district isn’t in any “bad standing with the state” since a good portion of the report was favorable to the Bayonne BOE.
The two then spent a few minutes going back-and-forth on the subject.
Trustees Mary Jane Desmond, Chris Piechocki and Ava T. Mitchell, the board vice president, were absent.