Nutley Board of Ed: Something’s not right with school finances

Something isn’t right with finances in the Nutley School District and the township’s Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Kent Bania have released a joint statement to somewhat address the issue — though specifics are nowhere to be found … yet.

Bania and the board sent a letter to Nutley school stakeholders. They wrote:

“Dear Nutley Staff, Parents and Community Members:

“Recently, the Nutley Board of Education learned of factors impacting the finances of the Nutley Public Schools. The district took immediate action and has employed the help of professionals who specialize in this area. In addition, the district is working closely with the county offices of the New Jersey Department of Education to come to a resolution.

“The Nutley Public Schools District is committed to the education of its students and will continue to manage this matter. The district does not anticipate a change in the programs or the education of the students of Nutley.

“We thank you for your support and patience as we work through this period. The district and Board of Education will continue to communicate with you as more information is available.”

That letter was released to the public Tuesday, March 19. The next day, Nutley’s Board of Commissioners responded.

“The Board of Commissioners has received news of the Nutley school district’s financial and accounting issues,” the commissioners wrote in a statement. “We share the concerns of this community about this situation. As always, our priority is to ensure that our students’ education is not affected by any administrative issues.

“The Board of Education is a wholly separate body of elected officials. We are committed to supporting the Board of Education members as they continue to look into the root cause of any issues in the school district. We are prepared to assist if needed  in whatever capacity that we can. While this preliminary news is concerning, we urge the community to let the factual inquiry unfold to its conclusion while avoiding rumor and speculation in the meantime. Thank you for your concern for our community and cooperation as this situation is addressed.”

While, indeed, the commissioners and board of education are separate entities, both recently and proudly announced, in January, the formation of “One Nutley,” where township and schools would work jointly whenever shared services were possible. That agreement first took effect in June 2023.

We will update this developing story as soon as more details become available.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.