Lost in the shuffle of a protest and another chaotic Bayonne Board of Education meeting last night, the state Department of Education confirmed that a financial monitor will be appointed to the district in the coming weeks and explained what their goals are.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
One of the main goals of a state appointed monitor is to develop a corrective action plan, in this case, regarding the Bayonne BOE’s at least $6 million budget deficit that led to nearly 300 teachers being laid off – 88 of which were rehired last night though – according to N.J.S.A. 18A:23-1.
The monitor is also expected to be a watchdog that oversees any and all budgetary matters, including budget reallocations and reductions, approvals of purchase orders, payment of bills and claims and oversee all district staffing, as written in 18A:7A-55.
In a sense, the state-appointed official is the most powerful official of the school district, given that he or she has the ability to override a decision by the superintendent or a vote by the BOE on any of the aforementioned subjects – as well as many others.
The monitor will also attend all board meeting and meet with trustees on a quarterly basis to discuss past actions which led to their appointment in the first place.
A spokesman for the state Department of Education had few details at the moment, but confirmed that a monitor would be appointed to the Bayonne BOE.
“I can confirm that the NJDOE plans to appoint a state monitor in Bayonne School District in the coming weeks. I can provide further information when it is finalized,” he said in an email.
State Senator Sandra Cunningham and Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (both D-31) praised the decision to utilize a state financial monitor yesterday.
In the midst of all this, a state audit of the Bayonne BOE will also be conducted, though the results are not expected until the fall.