Priscoe, Alworth Lead BOE Race, Ballot Questions Seem Approved

By on November 6, 2018

Pamela J. Priscoe and Timothy Alworth  lead Board of Education incumbent John Quattrocchi and David Rullo in the race for two seats on the BOE.

As of 10 p.m., the unofficial results had Priscoe with 3,218, Alworth with 2,453, Quattrocchi with 1,878 and Rullo with 714. But the results do not include provisional ballots, mail-in ballots or early voting. Those results may not be available until Friday, and could lead to substantial changes.

The overall turnout was an unofficial 57.8%, up substantially from 40.4% in last year’s BOE election.

Voters appear to have approved the two local ballot questions. The proposal to expand Verona’s kindergarten program from extended hours to a full day passed by 2,873 yes votes to 2,139 no, and the measure to give the district extra resources to address mental health issues in the schools got 2,754 yes votes to 2,162 no. Again, these results are unofficial and do not include provisional ballots, mail-in ballots or early voting.

The $215,000 kindergarten measure will cost the average household roughly $42 more in taxes in its first year. The money will expand the salary of Verona’s kindergarten teachers from 77% of a full-day salary to 100%, add two lunch aides per school, and cover extra supplies. The funding becomes a permanent part of the BOE budget and will increase each year. A community group, Verona Full Day K, had lobbied heavily for passage of the measure. The district has said that it will begin the program in February 2019.

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The $550,000 mental health measure adds about $108 in taxes to the average Verona household in its first year. The money will enable Verona to partner with Effective School Solutions (ESS), a Scotch Plains-based company that provides clinical services for students with emotional and behavioral issues to more than 45 school districts in the tri-state area, to add three clinicians who will work at both HBW and VHS.

“Both second questions are important in continuing to support the progress of our district and support for our children,” Superintendent Dr. Rui Dionisio said Wednesday morning, “as we continue to press forward to ensure that the academic, social, emotional and physical well-being of our students are addressed in a strategic and thoughtful manner.”

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