HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill Public Schools receives state aid back

Cherry Hill Public Schools receives state aid back

Students also protest the transfer of a choir teacher

Emily Liu/The Sun
Cherry Hill West Students advocate to keep both Cherry Hill West Choir teachers at the May 14 board of education meeting.

Cherry Hill Public Schools celebrated the news that it would receive 45% of its state aid reduction back thanks to a new legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on May 14.

For Cherry Hill, this means they would receive around $3.1 million of the $6.9 million in state aid that it had previously lost.

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With the return of some of the state aid funds means golf and bowling clubs would be able to continue. 

“We are particularly proud of the growth in our golf program, and we are very, very proud of our student participation in our bowling program as well,” said Schools Superintendent Kwame R. Morton. “For us it’s important that our kids have opportunities to participate in activities, and when we think about the elimination of an opportunity to participate, it’s challenging.”

During public comments, a number of Cherry Hill High School West students came out to protest the plans to transfer one of the two choir teachers to the position of elementary school teacher. Even though remarks made focused on the qualitative growth rather than the quantitative growth of the choir program, Morton remained steadfast in the decision.

He explained that since the pandemic, the number of sections have shrunk from five to four taught by two teachers at West, and next year, it was projected to have only four sections again. 

“What we’ve attempted to do is provide enough time for the teachers to have the opportunity to go out and try to recruit and to bring the numbers up, and in the 2022 school year and 2023, there were five sections of vocal music that was split between two teachers.”

This year only saw four sections, with the same projected next year.

“So based upon numbers … the recommendation I have to make is that there are only enough sections to constitute one teacher,” the superintendent said. “I acknowledge the concerns that were cited.”

In other news, board member Gina Winters shared that they had discussed cell phone usage policies in the Policy and Legislation and during the Curriculum and Instruction committee meetings. They will continue their discussions on Monday, June 3 during committee meetings.

The next board of education meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m.

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