A South Hunterdon board member and freeholders each spoke of the benefits of regionalization to the Joint Committee on Public Schools on Nov. 12.
Introducing the hearing, Assemblywoman Donna Simon cited issues with curriculum changes and shared services as reasons for regionalization. The Republican representing Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Mercer counties has called for legislation introducing a task force looking into school regionalization.
“Each one are being taught curriculum at a local level, therefore there’s no academic seaming once they get to high school,” she said.
Simon said shared services, although commendable, are isolated and leave schools facing financial pressures.
From an administrative standpoint, the new district operates at $170,000 less than had the four schools remained separate districts.
Speaking to the commission, Freeholder Rob Walton said part of the challenge in school consolidation is figuring out who saves money and who doesn’t save money.
The freeholders had previously voted to encourage the merging of county schools into fewer districts by offering matching funds to pay for studies of such consolidations.