Southern Regional, Stafford School Districts’ Budget Hearings Coming Up Soon
It’s budgeting time for the local school districts, and both the Stafford Township and Southern Regional Boards of Education invite the public to attend each district’s scheduled budget hearings coming up during the next two weeks.
The Stafford Township School District’s budget hearing is slated for Thursday, April 27, at the Stafford Township Arts Center, while the Southern Regional School District’s budget hearing is on tap for Wednesday, May 3, at the district board office. Both are at 7 p.m.
According to Stafford Schools Business Administrator Daniel Smith, the budget adopted by the Stafford Township Board of Education on March 16 was approved by the Ocean County Superintendent of Schools and New Jersey Department of Education and will be the one presented to the public. The budget for the 2017-18 school year carries no tax rate increase, Smith said.
With a total of $41,736,061 in expenditures expected for 2017-18, the district is anticipating nearly $12.5 million in additional revenues to come in along with just over $29.2 million in tax revenue, based on the tax rate of $0.752 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Two of the biggest expenses in next year’s tentative budget include the first installment of three annual payments, approximately $300,000, to replace all student and teacher desks in the district’s schools, as well as the purchase of three new buses, expected to cost some $290,000, Smith said.
Regarding the Southern Regional district’s budget, the one adopted by the board of education in March also received approval from the county and state, and no changes have been made since its adoption. According to Business Administrator Steve Terhune, the adopted 2017-18 budget expenses are estimated at $58,170,514 with a preliminary tax levy of $45,860,121.
He said the budget maintains all existing student programs, and it is expected to reflect an overall reduction to the tax levy because this year “the district officially retired the existing bonded debt, so the 2017-18 budget reflects a district with no bond payments.” He also said each town within the regional district’s borders will be affected differently “based on the state’s apportionment formula.”
The Stafford Township Arts Center is located at 1000 McKinley Ave. The Southern Regional administration office is located at 105 Cedar Bridge Rd., adjacent to the high school.
— David Biggy