Pennsauken Approves $36M School Bond
Voters in Pennsauken signed off on a district-wide facilities overhaul

By Matt Skoufalos | March 13, 2018 for NJPEN

By a margin of three to one, Pennsauken voters approved funding for some $36 million in public school district improvements Tuesday, clearing the way for a series of facilities upgrades that district officials describe as transformative.

Pennsauken’s ballot initiative passed by a vote of 1,896 to 663, while Collingswood’s fell, 2,158 to 810, in a pair of special elections. All totals are unofficial until certified by the Camden County clerk, and do not include provisional ballots.

At a reception Tuesday evening, Pennsauken Superintendent of Schools Ronnie Tarchichi thanked district teachers, administrators, and members of the township school board for sustaining a collaborative effort that saw the bond measure pass.

“There’s something very special about Pennsauken schools,” Tarchichi said.

The superintendent said the facilities overhaul will allow Pennsauken “to compete with every other district in the area,” and overcome a “negative perception” that he feels has hindered its enrollment.

Superintendent Tarchichi
Pennsauken Superintendent of Schools Ronnie Tarchichi addresses a roomful of supporters after a victory in the district bond referendum. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.


Thank YouA banner thanking Pennsauken voters hung in the Pennsauken Country Club while members of the local school district enjoyed their victory in the ballot initiative. Credit: Matt Skoufalos..


“It’s very difficult to turn that around,” Tarchichi said. “You have to offer what we’re putting in. “Now we can give them everything.”

Tarchichi said he expects construction to be completed within 16 months, beginning with an overhaul of the district playing fields, followed by renovations of its magnet school and preschool.

He aims to boost enrollment at the district’s “flagship high school” by 500 students, starting with the 130 township residents who attend area charter and Catholic high schools, and progressing beyond local borders.

“Districts should be competitive,” Tarchichi said. “Education is a commodity. We should be the best. The time of going to your neighborhood school is over.”

Pennsauken Board of Education President Nick Perry thanked the electorate for passing the measure. “We are deeply indebted to you,” Perry said. “We thank you for your trust. We thank you for your support. The children are going to thank you in the future.”


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