Once again it’s time to take a look at Asbury Park Public School District, which spends more per pupil ($42,382 total a year) than almost any other district and is the former post of Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet. This past November the New Jersey State Legislature’s Office of the State Auditor completed an analysis of the district’s functioning that spans from July 2016 (when Repollet was still superintendent) to December 2018. The auditor, Stephen M. Eels, addresses his analysis to Gov. Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Services Peri Horowitz. I was given a copy by a staff member, who will remain anonymous.
Much of what follows confirms patterns that we’ve seen elsewhere: Wasteful spending, poor internal oversight processes, and top-heavy Administration. I’ve also looked over minutes from recent board meetings to confirm some aspects of the audit. And let’s remember that this is not just about money but about children relegated to Asbury Park, almost all of color, who have an 80% chance of not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, an important indicator for future academic success.