Vincent Polistina


VENTNOR – NJ Sen. Vince Polistina (R-2) has introduced legislation that would reinstate Ventnor’s representative on the Atlantic City Board of Education.

Due to declining enrollment numbers, the Atlantic City board has dropped Ventnor’s representative from its ranks. Current state law requires sending districts to have at least 10% of the receiving district’s total student population to maintain a seat on the board.

Polistina’s bill, S3399 would permit Ventnor to have a seat on the board based on “commercial valuation stabilization aid.”

According to a statement from Polistina’s office, “Senate Bill 3399 proposes to remove (the enrollement) requirement, specifically in the situation of the City of Ventnor sending students to the Atlantic City High School, essentially removing the accepted practice of ‘taxation without representation.’”

Ventnor provides a significant amount of tuition for its students to attend Atlantic City High School, which supports K-12 education in Atlantic City.

“With that support comes the right to representation to ensure appropriate input and oversight,” the statement said.

On Dec. 14, Ventnor Board of Education President Douglas Biagi said Atlantic City should “do the right thing” and reinstate the seat because Ventnor sends $3.2 million to the district to cover tuition for its 161 students to attend the high school “and now we can’t even vote on it.”

The bill would suspend the student population requirement for the Atlantic City receiving district only.

“Given the considerable amount of tuition support allocated by the sending districts to Atlantic City School District, it is crucial for those sending districts to maintain representation on the board of education to ensure appropriate input and oversight regardless of minor fluctuations in enrollment,” the bill states.

Interim Executive County Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Bumpus notified Nov. 28 that according to enrollment numbers on Oct. 15, 2022, it was sending 161 students to Atlantic City High School, which is less than the 10% required to hold a seat on the board. Atlantic City High School has 1,760 students in grades 9-12. To maintain the seat, Ventnor would be required to send 176 students to the high school. This year, Ventnor is sending even fewer students to the high school, for an additional loss of 33 students from the prior year’s count.

According to state law, if enrollment from the sending district drops below 10%, it is not entitled to representation on the receiving district’s board of education. If two or more sending districts that do not qualify for representation can show a combined minimum of 15% of the high school’s enrollment, they would be permitted to have two representatives on the receiving district’s board, which would be determined on a rotating basis.

The bill was introduced in the Senate on Dec. 19, 2022 and referred to the Senate Education Committee


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Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.