Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of the response sent to the city on behalf of the Bayonne Board of Education. For access to the full text and appendices, go to bboed.org.
To the Editor:
Currently, we do not dispute your calculations that the Bayonne Board of Education has collected $7.4 million from the N.J.S.D.A. for various projects completed between 1999 and 2008. What is not mentioned, and what the present City Administration may not be aware of, is that in June 2011 the Bayonne Board of Education wrote off $6.9 million in receivables owed to the Board from the City of Bayonne. This is evidenced by the June 2011 CAFR [Comprehensive Annual Financial Report] audit which was authorized by the Bayonne Board of Education and the Board of School Estimate.
Additionally, on May 23, 2011, the Board of Education forwarded the City $6,000,000 as payment for anticipated receipt of funding from the N.J.S.D.A. [New Jersey Schools Development Authority]. This $6,000,000 prepayment, along with the $6,241,249 claims against the city written off, exceeds the $11,800,000 the City alleges the Bayonne Board of Education owes it.
In addition, the following is a list of those projects paid for by the Bayonne Board of Education on behalf of the City:
• 1990 Purchase of one parcel of land – 24th Street & Kennedy Boulevard (615-619 Kennedy Boulevard) –at Bayonne Board of Education expense and enhanced
• 2002 East Fifth Street cleanup for Bus Storage/Maintenance Garage & Dog Walk
• 2006 Sewer pipe from Public Library to 30th Street & the bay
• 2006 Sale of Bayonne Board of Education land behind #3 Dr. Walter F. Robinson School to City’s Parking Authority for parking lot – money never received from City Parking Authority
• 2009 Purchase of Juliette Street property – new Repair Department Facility
• 2011 Installation of Fuel Pump Station at Hook Road for joint City & Board of Education use
You may not be aware of the fact that the Bayonne Board of Education is the second most underfunded school district in the entire State of New Jersey. In spite of this, the Board has and continues to provide services to Bayonne residents for which it has not been reimbursed. We should meet to discuss this practice. The Board’s goal is to work with the City to efficiently and economically provide as many services as possible to our residents.
Also on May 16th, 2014 the Bayonne Board of Education authorized the transfer of $3,999,725 to our capital reserve account and memorialized the transfer as required by our auditors. This $5,749,725 will be used to fund the ongoing R.O.D. [Regular Operating District] Grant Projects. This was done at no cost to the taxpayers of Bayonne. These grants will address safety concerns in all of our buildings and will serve the district for years to come.
As always we are always open to having the discussions that need to take place to best serve our students, staff and taxpayers of the City of Bayonne.
BBOE FINANCE COMMITTEE