Former Brigantine Mayor Phil Guenther has a track record of questionable tactics to snag grants, bully private business, and using taxpayer funds from those who can’t vote.
As supervisor of vocational school, ACIT, Guenther is once again facing heavy criticism for hurting sending districts, as he boosts his own school district.
In 2018, as Mayor of Brigantine, Guenther forced private pre-k school SEA-TOTS to close in order to artificially boost enrollment within Brigantine’s 2, half-empty schools, and win grant funding from the State of NJ. Read more > https://brigantinenow.com/bloated-brigantine-school-district-forcing-sea-tots-to-close/
Guenther is accused of taking advantage of a loop hole. ACIT, Atlantic County Institute of Technology, doesn’t need to follow NJ state-mandated limits on it’s budget. But local districts do.
A long simmering dispute. ACIT, Atlantic County Institute of Technology vs. other high school districts.
Guenther wants other Atlantic County high school districts to essentially subsidize non-critical ACIT expansion, while their own districts suffer.
ACIT & Phil Guenther brushed off concerns that his actions would seriously hurt other Atlantic County school districts.
By funding an expansion of ACIT, Atlantic County school districts would lose much needed funding. Sending districts are forced to pay tuition for students they send to ACIT.
Parents are asking: why are we continually adding on to ACIT, when our own local high schools in Atlantic County are hurting?
According to the Press of Atlantic City: “For every student that chooses to go to the county vocational school, their home school loses that student in their enrollment count, which decreases the state funding to the home district, and the home district is responsible for paying full tuition costs to the technical school and transportation costs,” said Cumberland Regional High School Superintendent Steve Price.
Guenther enjoys something the other school districts don’t. ACIT doesn’t have to abide by a 2% cap on spending. Guenther can boost expenses as he sees fit. Atlantic County taxpayers and the students’ home district are forced to fund the ACIT tuition and transportation to get them there.
Recently, the Greater Egg school board voted have ACIT ‘immediately cease’ plans for expansion.
Guenther, a long shot for a NJ Assembly seat, could sink re-election chances for popular County Exec, Denny Levinson.
Freeholder Frank Formica has already stepped down from the race.
Guenther clearly wants to take away state aid from local districts in order to grow his own school. Guenther is all about the ‘good ole boys club’ says one mom with years of experience watching Guenther in action.
Read all about Phil’s Brigantine. The BrigantineNOW best seller: Greenhead Politics. The Story Brigantine Taxpayers Were Never Told.
Locals parents want grant money to boost their own school’s vocational curriculum. Not interested in helping Guenther expand ACIT by poaching students, resources and funding. Guenther doesn’t want other Atlantic County high schools to expand their own vocational offerings?
Parents taking notice. Asking more questions. Not happy with ACIT expansions plans at the expense of their own school districts.