Sean Coleman: Candidate profile

  • Sean Coleman is a candidate for Millburn Elementary District 24 school board.

    Sean Coleman is a candidate for Millburn Elementary District 24 school board.

 
Posted3/11/2019 12:01 AM

Bio

Name: Sean Coleman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

City: Lindenhurst

Office sought: Member, Board of Education (Millburn, School District 24)

Age: 51

Family: Wife, Daughter (14), Son (11)

Occupation: Sr. Program Manager

Education: B.S. Political Science, MBA

Previous elected offices held: None

Incumbent: If yes, when were first elected? No

Website:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Issue questions

What are the most important issues facing your district and how do you intend to address them?

I believe the two most important issues facing the Millburn School District must be the continuing improvement of the Annual Financial Report and the impact of declining enrollment. Though the Annual Financial Report indicated that Millburn's financial position is improving, it is critical that we remain diligent in addressing all of those categories that contribute to the score, if we are to become financially healthy and remain autonomous. Declining enrollment will also have a considerable bearing on the future of Millburn, as state funding is based on the average spend per student, which appears to increase as enrollment declines. This could impact our ability to receive funding, and it is likely that we will have to identify alternate sources of income.

How satisfied are you that your school district is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I believe that Millburn is performing well against the challenge of preparing their students for success in the future. It is evident in the scores of its students, when compared to the averages. Additionally, Millburn addresses character development, and fosters an environment for personal growth. Whether changes need to be made should be evident in the academic test scores, and the social climate of the schools.

What budgetary issues will your district have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support any tax increases? Be specific.

I believe the two most important budgetary issues facing the Millburn School District must be the continuing improvement of the Annual Financial Report and the impact of declining enrollment. Though the Annual Financial Report indicated that Millburn's financial position is improving, it is critical that we remain diligent in addressing all of those categories that contribute to the score, if we are to become financially healthy and remain autonomous. Declining enrollment will also have a considerable bearing on the future of Millburn, as state funding is based on the average spend per student, which appears to increase as enrollment declines. This could impact our ability to receive funding, and it is likely that we will have to identify alternate sources of income.

Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I have never been employed by a school district. My wife is an elementary teacher at Millburn Elementary school.

As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?

I believe that the answer to this question is dependent upon the financial situation of the district at the time of negotiation, and the anticipated financial position over the course of the contract. Benchmarking should be done to ensure wages are in line with prevailing wages in the area, with consideration being given to the academic performance of the students. The underlying drivers should be financial position and performance. Additionally, it is important to also consider the retention rate of the staff and the degree to which compensation plays a part in a lack of retention.

If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?

No, school costs, especially future liabilities, should be predictable and stable, whenever possible. I don't agree with artificially inflating an administrator's pay as they near retirement.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.