By DON STINE
Allenhurst is following in the footsteps of its two neighboring towns and will begin to send its students to West Long Branch Elementary School and to Shore Regional High School on a per-pupil tuition basis.
Board of Education President Larry O’Rourke said that Allenhurst school board officials saw Interlaken and Loch Arbour recently make the same move with permission of state Acting-Commissioner of Education Kimberly Harrington. All three communities are considered non-operational school districts since they do not have their own schools.
“We didn’t have any children using public schools and we thought this would be an appropriate time. It solves a long-term problem and gives parents and new residents viable options for a public-school education,” O’Rourke said.
In March, the Allenhurst Board of Education filed an application with Harrington to replace the sending-receiving relationship between Allenhurst and Asbury Park and to establish a per-pupil tuition relationship with the West Long Branch Board of Education for the pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students and with the Shore Regional High School Board of Education for the high school students.
On July 20, Harrington granted the borough’s application and Allenhurst school officials hope to sign contracts with the two other school boards by the end of this month. Allenhurst now joins its neighbors Interlaken and Loch Abour in sending students to West Long Branch and Shore Regional.
O’Rourke said that Asbury Park school officials had no opposition to the Allenhurst proposal. Several years ago, Asbury Park initially challenged the state’s decision to allow Interlaken to withdraw from its school district but the challenge was unsuccessful.
O’Rourke said Allenhurst has about 38 school-age children and that some may be able to start attending their new schools this September but he added that no contracts with the two schools have yet been signed. He said that perhaps only a few students will begin attending schools this September and that tuition costs are being negotiated.
“I don’t know the number of students because parents are not fully aware of the plan yet.
But I think it will be a small population, maybe one or two, but with more in the coming years” he said.
He said that the school board has a good surplus in its budget and that he doesn’t expect any impact on the school tax rate for several years.
Any questions concerning the new educational formula in Allenhurst are directed to contact the Allenhurst Board of Education at 732- 531-8483.