Atlantic City Board of Education voted Tuesday to move the date of the school board elections to coincide with the general election.
In 2013, the election, which has historically been held on the third Tuesday in April, will be held the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
Most local school districts opted to make the change during this past election cycle; in South Jersey, only Atlantic City, Hammonton and Bridgeton held school elections in April in 2012.
“Part of the theory was that is cost the district over $36,000 to hold the election in spring, and we were on our our own with the county,” said Superintendent, Donna Haye. “The county Board of Elections was not supporting us. And the board also felt that more of the public comes out and votes in November, and that they would have a better vote turnout in November.”
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, Ken Moore, of Ford Scott and Associates, a certified public accounting and auditing firm, presented the district’s 2011/2012 fiscal audit.
“Financially, the school district had a very good year,” he said. “It ended up with quite a large surplus, which is always encouraging.”
He spoke briefly at the outset of the meeting, commending the board on the audit.
“There were only four findings, not very significant, in the audit,” he said. “They’ve already been addressed. The records were excellent.”
Members of the public spoke during the public discussion, primarily commending the district’s handling of Sandy and addressing Sandy-related concerns. One concern was that students displaced by the storm are struggling to find transportation to Atlantic City schools.
Assistant Superintendent Barry Caldwell addressed the issue, stating that the district is giving students and parents public bus passes. He said the logistics of trying to have school buses pick up all the displaced students scattered throughout the area would create way too long a trip. Caldwell said that if individual students have issues that need to be resolved, he will work with them.
“Some students don’t want to come because of the situation,” he said. “Some students you don’t know when they leave the hotel. You don’t know if they left, or when they’re coming back. What we tried to do was give the students bus tickets, but also give the parents bus tickets so they could ride with students”
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