Shared Services between Boards of Education and Municipalities
Governor Phil Murphy issued a press release in Septembrer 2019 announcing the administrations committement to assist school districts, municipalities and counties interested in sharing services and continuing to study consolidation.
New Jersey State School Boards Association continues to promote the use of shared services as a cost savings program to collaborate on extensive partnerships that produce shared services of significance. In 2007, NJSBA sponsored a study by Rutgers-Newark, which showed that 97 % of New Jersey’s school districts engaged in some type of shared service.
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.
Examples of Successful Shared Service Agreement were Telecommunications/Computer Network Montclair Board of Education/Montclair Township and Montclair Public Library; Food Services Director – Caldwell and Verona School Districts; Custodial Services – Consortium between six school districts two charter schools (Salem, Gloucester and Camden Counties) Shared Superintendent – Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head School Districts – Purchase of Paper 80-90 school districts led by Pittsgrove Township Board of Education and Manalapan/Englishtown fuel costs.
In 2007, The South Plainfield Board of Education President and the Borough of South Plainfield Coucilman Robert Bengivenga, Jr. gave a presentation for Shared Services and proposed a study to be performed to determine what possiblities could be promoted to host shared services. The study would cost $5,000.00, which wold be split between the Board of Education and The Borough of South Plainfield. The Rutgers MBA Student Consulting Team performed the study to identify initial mutual agreeable areas for consideration to be shared, conduct financial analysis when applicable of cost savings and propose solutions to increase efficiency. The team met at Rutgers continually to perfect a plan. The following six focus areas were presented:
External Maintenance – grass cutring, salting, tree removal, masonry, and concrete work, solar panels
Internal Maintenance – cleaning services, building services, school resources officers, purchasing, adult education, IT Services, engineering, vehicle maintenance, bus transportation, lighted cross walks at the intersection of the Police Athletic League (PAL).
The team of the shared services study who were appointed to the study team were South Plainfield Board of Education members Robert Jones and Debbie Boyle,and Business Administrator Rich Guarini. Members from the Borough of South Plainfield were Borough Council President Robert Bengivenga Jr., Councilman Matthew Anesh, and Borough Chief Financial Officer/Business Administrator Glenn Cullen. A final document was formulated and signed in May, 2008.
The Board of Education received handicapped ramps at each of the seven schools, at entrance ways from the street to the schools and through another grant that the borough received would afford additional ramps.
– Line stripping around all schools for fire lanes were done by the borough road department which saved $4,000.00, trimming of the trees at Jost Football Field and the South Plainfield Middle School
– storm draining cleaning by the Department of Public Works.
– The Board of Education gave the use of their fields for summer recreation and winter basketball with the Borough providing insurance coverage, and provided the Borough the use of the Middle School Lawn for the Labor Day Parade and emergency space for the Governor.
– The Borough created an internship program allowing South Plainfield High School and other high school students who reside in town an opportunity to work at borough hall for the summer learning of boro operations in various departments without monetary compensation.
– The Borough purchases salt and sand in bulk and the BOE shared the same cost afforded to the boro
– Peer Leadership Program students and student council formed a list of those sudents available to help the senior citizens shovel their sidewalks
In 2008 U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced more than $1.2 million dollars to improve school security in New Jersey through the COPS Grant, the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. South Plainfield Board of Education members Bob Jones and Debbie Boyle worked with South Plainfield Police Department Captain Brembt and Congressman Mike Ferguson on the application to secure a security system that would fit the needs of the South Plainfield School District. The Grant Application was awarded to the South Plainfield Police Department/School District in the amount of $180,000.00 matching grant which afforded the school district, teachers, staff, students and parents the first security system for the South Plainfield High School and Middle School, which included the school lot between the high school and the middle school. This was a major shared service.
Shared Services continue throughout the State of New Jersey School Districts through the promotion of the shared services by the New Jersey State School Boards Association.
Submitted by Debbie Boyle, IP President of the Middlesex County School Board, Board of Directors appointment as Legislative Representative for the 18th District and member of the Finance Committee