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Moorestown School Referendum Set for Sept. 30

School Board Member Brandon J. Pugh discusses that among other issues in his monthly education column.

The month of June may have been a short school month, but many exciting and important events and discussions took place within the school district and on the Board of Education. This included a bond referendum discussion and the high school graduation.

I would personally like to congratulate each student who graduated from Moorestown High School on June 19.  This was a very accomplished and distinguished class, with students entering the military and military academies, and a range of colleges/universities. 

After graduation, a majority of the class attended Project Graduation. On June 10, more than half of the graduating class was recognized at the Senior Awards Ceremony for academic, athletic, leadership, and volunteer accomplishments.

From June 22-27, rising Moorestown High School seniors Steven Ai, Jon Delarenzo, Jimmy McHugh, Vinny Moncholi, Zach Rausch, Ben Sawin, Brian Trainer, and Kevin Tsao attended the American Legion Jersey Boys State Program, along with over nine hundred other students from across New Jersey. 

During the week, students were exposed to politics and government at a college seminar level, and heard from a variety of incredible speakers, including Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, and award winning journalist Charles Wiley, among many others. I had the pleasure of being on staff, and I encourage other MHS students to look into this program for the future.

At the June meeting of the Board of Education, a majority of time was spent discussing and presenting information on the Regular Operation District (ROD) Grant awarded to the district. 

This grant allows a district to complete various capital improvements with the state covering about 40% of the cost, and the district paying the remainder.

Moorestown was fortunate to be in the top three in terms of project funding statewide for school districts, receiving about $13.78 million. 

This would allow us to complete many essential projects that the district may not otherwise be able to afford, or possibly incur the entire expense of the project.

To utilize this grant a bond referendum would need to be passed to pay for the district’s share. A special election was approved to take place on Sept. 30 for the “purpose of authorizing the issuance of school bonds to finance various capital improvements.” 

It is important to note that the specific projects to be included in the referendum and the resulting impact on the community have not been decided, and community and board discussion will continue to take place.

During the initial presentation on June 24, projects requested for approval by the state and the projects approved were outlined by each school. Projects include security upgrades, HVAC replacements, and technology upgrades, among other categories.

Be sure to save the date for the 2014 Moorestown “Back to School” obstacle run on Sunday, Sept. 7. The run benefits Moorestown Township Public Schools. A 5K run for adults and older kids, and a one mile run for pre-k to third-graders will be offered, along with food, vendors, and a DJ. Questions can be directed to mtpsfunding@mtps.com. 

The next regular monthly meeting of the Moorestown Board of Education is Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the William Allen Middle School Media Center.

Since we do not have a scheduled July board meeting, do not hesitate to reach out to the district or myself if you need anything or have concerns. 

Enjoy the summer and I look forward to seeing you in August and resuming the Education Monthly column.

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The views and content in this column do not necessarily represent those of the Moorestown Board of Education as a whole or any other individual member. 

About this column: In this column, Moorestown Board of Education Member Brandon Pugh provides monthly updates on what's going on in the school district and on the BOE.

Townie July 01, 2014 at 07:11 AM
Since the conversation started as a result of a public statement by someone elected by residents, don't you find it slightly concerning answers to questions have to go offline? The amusing part is next year he'll champion his public forum as part of his re-election campaign, but it's only ever been a one-way opportunity to push an agenda. Given the number of readers here....it's not really much of platform, but that won't stop him from using it as a way to discuss the issues...sans discussion. There is no reporting on this site....it's an add delivery service that's on life support. The "reporters" here since Mr. Scott's departure don't ask any questions....I think we all should. I may be OK with Mr. Pugh's request, I just wish he would have told me what he wanted to do with the money while asking. BTW - Since Mr. Pugh referenced the discussion as a June BOE meeting, it'll be a few months until the minutes are posted on the MTPS site, so you either were at the meeting, know someone who attended or is on the BOE, or don't care about the details while supporting the spending of over $8k per student for infrastructure.
Bella Pelosi July 01, 2014 at 09:39 AM
Townie I think Mr. Pugh is an inexperienced young man who thinks a few sound bites is the equivalent of transparency. I agree that if you are going to communicate with the public about, do so in a detailed and educational way. That also holds true for the rest of the BOE which does very little to engage the citizens. That is why I will not support any incumbents running this year. We need new leadership all around.
Townie July 01, 2014 at 10:06 AM
Bella... agree on all points.

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