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Brick BOE Reverses Controversial Document Policy

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Brick Township Board of Education has walked back a policy that would keep various contracts and documents secret until after a vote on them.

Board President John Lamela said Thursday night that after speaking with former board member Karyn Cusanelli, whose term ended Dec. 31, 2016, he became concerned about the issue of transparency and decided the policy should be reversed.

Announced in December, the board took advantage of a judicial ruling that states school boards are not obligated to include documents such as contracts with the general meeting agenda. The ruling did not, however, bar such documents from being released. On the December 2016 meeting agenda, numerous contracts – from a health care related document to a contract for a DJ at a school dance – were not included. For Thursday’s meeting, however, documentation did appear as a link to PDF files next to each agenda item.

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“There is case law that says you don’t have to, but you could,” said Lamela. “It’s something I want to strive for.”

Lamela said all documentation except those that are confidential, such as matters concerning individual students, will be available for the public to review before each meeting.

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