After an executive session at last Tuesday night’s Board Of Education (BOE) meeting that lasted about 90 minutes, three (3) students were formally removed from the Roselle Park School District (RPSD) by a resolution voted on by the board.
BOE President Christopher Miller read the resolution into the record, using numbers to protect the identity of the students.
In the statement, it was revealed that a residency hearing was convened that evening, November 21st, and that the students’ parents were served with notices of the residency hearing and that each was given the opportunity to appear at the hearing to offer evidence and testimony as to the residency of the students.
The resolution went on to declare that the board – having considered the testimony and evidence offered by the students’ parents as well as the superintendent’s designees – had determined that the three students were “not domiciled in the Roselle Park School District for the purpose of being entitled to a free public education in accordance with NJSA 18A:38-1 and any other statutes covered in such issues.”
The parents of all three students were to immediately withdraw the children from the district and shall reimburse the school district for the tuition “for the period of time that the students were determined not to be domiciled within the district.”
The parents have a right to appeal the board’s decision but must do so within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the board’s notice ‘final ineligibility’.
If an appeal is filed, the students will be allowed to remain enrolled in the district. However, if the commissioner of education determines that any of the three students are not domiciled in the district, tuition may be assessed for the period of time that the student was determined not to be domiciled in the district as permitted by the relevant New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC).
The students were enrolled in – at least part of – the 2016-17 school year as well as the 2017-18 school year.
The resolution passed by a 6-1 vote with BOE member Sundjata Sekou being the only ‘no’ vote. Members Kimberly Powers and Jeof Vita were absent from the meeting.
After the meeting, when asked why he voted against the resolution, Mr. Sekou responded, “I feel like there were many issues [regarding residency] that have yet to be resolved.”