By PETE WALTON
The Bradley Beach Board of Education will conduct a feasibility study on changing its arrangements for the borough’s high school students.
Councilman John Weber, the Borough Council’s liaison to the school board, said he met with board President Susan Monroe after reading a letter from parents seeking to end the agreements which send Bradley Beach high school students to Asbury Park or Neptune.
According to the councilman, Monroe said nothing can be done until a feasibility study is conducted.
The state has rebuffed previous efforts by local towns, including Bradley Beach, to change their long-standing sending district arrangements. However, Loch Arbour was recently allowed to switch school districts from Ocean Township to West Long Branch for K-8 and to Shore Regional High School for older students.
Parents may enroll their children in other schools but the Bradley Beach board can only pay tuition to Asbury Park, Neptune, or one of several specialized schools.
Bill and Ali Maxcy, who wrote the letter to fellow parents of children in Bradley Beach Elementary School, welcomed the study.
“We are happy about the decision,” the Maxcys said. “We hope that the board sees it through. Our research has taught us it’s not a quick and easy process. The kids deserve a quality education as well as a positive and safe school climate.”
The Maxcys, who are also teachers, said they plan to meet with other parents tonight (May 25) at the borough recreation center from 7 to 9 p.m. The couple are continuing to mount a petition drive asking for changes in the sending district agreements.
“We support the board’s effort as they move toward getting approval from the (state) commissioner of education to break the contract (with Neptune and Asbury Park),” the Maxcys said.
Weber took issue with the Maxcy’s suggestion that new arrangements would necessarily mean cost savings for the local school board.
The Maxcys enrolled one of their children at Shore Regional High School starting in the fall. They will pay $9,500 a year in tuition. The couple says Neptune charges Bradley Beach $14,500 a year per student.
“Lower tuition or contract costs [would] also save money for the board and the school as well as the town taxpayers,” the Maxcys said in their letter to parents.
“The amount a sending district would pay is not the same as parents would pay on their own,” Weber said.
In making their case for a change, the Maxcys cited a 2016 ranking of public high schools in the state compiled by New Jersey Monthly magazine. Shore Regional was No. 63, Neptune 286 and Asbury Park No. 310 of 337 schools.
The Maxcys asked parents who have not already done so to e-mail them at ChangeBBHS@gmail.com to express support and encourage the Bradley Beach school board to move ahead with its feasibility study.