On December 26, 2017, the Cumberland County Board of Vocational Education, which runs the County’s Vo-Tech school in Vineland, filed a lawsuit against the Cumberland County Regional High School Board of Education claiming that the latter Board “is purposefully and knowingly attempting to limit the educational choices of its students and parents by fraudulently holding itself out as a vocational school.”

According to the lawsuit, the Regional Board sent a December 13, 2017 letter to all 8th grade students and parents advising them that since the Regional Board had established a new vocational school at its Upper Deerfield campus it “will no longer pay tuition and transportation costs for any students who reside in the Cumberland Regional District who enroll with the Cumberland County Vocational School in the following programs of study: Engineering, Health Sciences and Medicine.” 

The lawsuit, filed by Woodbury attorney Douglas Long, claims that Cumberland Regional has not secured the required permissions from state education officials and therefore cannot lawfully operate as a vocational and technical school.”  The Vo-Tech Board accuses the Regional Board of “engaging in a deliberate campaign to interfere with the rights of its students’ and parents guaranteed [by the New Jersey Constitution] through threat, intimidation and coercion in order to frighten its students and parents into the belief that they may not attend Cumberland County Technical Education Center (“CCTEC”) without incurring a significant, potentially insurmountable financial burden.”

The lawsuit seeks a court order compelling the Regional Board to immediately notify its entire student and family population in writing that it is not a vocational and/or technical school” and assure them that they will pay the tuition and transportation costs of students who attend CCTEC.  The Vo-Tech Board also seeks an order compelling the Regional Board to pay its attorney fees.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]