Parents, students lambaste decision to close popular Middletown elementary school

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Parents and students in Middletown are criticizing the school district’s decision to close a popular elementary school.

The Middletown Board of Education voted on Wednesday, despite parents and students protesting the plan for weeks.

“Port Monmouth is 98 1/2 years old and in a year and a half, it will be celebrating 100 years. It is a historic building. It should be registered in the National Historic Society and they have not thought of that. There are grants available that can help with our little tiny cost,” says parent Lisa Bonamo.

“The narrow vote ultimately came down to cost - a reduction in state aid, a nearly $4 million modernization price tag and dropping enrollment numbers.

RELATED: Middletown school officials vote to close Port Monmouth Elementary School 

“Making the proposal for a reduction in the overall footprint is the only way at this point to significantly create the opportunity for long-term financial stability,” said School Superintendent Dr. Bill George.

But the parents say that enrollment numbers would come back up. They say that many families are only now returning to the neighborhood after Superstorm Sandy destroyed their homes in 2012.

“I lived back in my house in 2015. Since then, there’s been construction going on, families moving in, they’re all babies. So, people moving back in 2016, they’re not even of age to be in school yet…where are the children going?” asked Bonamo.

Students will now move to the new Monmouth Elementary School at the start of the next school year.


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