Serious Imbalance

Sep 06, 2017

To the Editor:

As we know, there exists a serious imbalance to the Southern Regional School District funding. While LBI sends about 10 percent of the SRSD students, we pay 80 percent of the cost. The per pupil cost varies from a high of 64 times (Harvey Cedars, $255,000) to a low of 13 times (Ship Bottom, $51,000) the cost to the mainland ($3,600 per pupil). In no case where other districts have successfully had the funding formula changed was there anywhere near this obscene disparity.

In the landmark Manchester Regional case, the total assessed valuation basis was changed to a 50 percent per pupil and 50 percent assessed valuation. The River Dell (Bergen County) system was also changed.  Right now the Pascack Valley Regional system is being challenged and the four towns range only from $15,000 to $30,000 per pupil, nowhere close to the $255,000 to $3,600 variance.

So the funding formula has been successfully changed and is continuing to be, even though we are told by our elected representatives that it can’t be done. Why don’t our representatives actively pursue this inequity? Taxpayers deserve what is right and fair.

If the formula is changed to per pupil, the average Beach Haven taxpayer would save $1,575 per year. The borough would save over $4 million per year. It’s a win-win for every taxpayer on LBI and for all the towns.

Don’t expect any help from the off-Island officials. They can count votes and know their bread is buttered on the mainland. What is amazing and disheartening is the lack of interest by our LBI representatives. Are they intimidated by the big boys off the Island? Are they taken in by the phony claims of the “status quo” people? Or is it they just don’t care about the taxpayers? They always say they do. Let’s see some action!

It’s time the taxpayers light a fire under our local officials, and I, for one, will help whomever and even provide a match or two. By the way, it costs Ocean Township (the sending district to SRSD) only $15,500 per pupil. Stack that up to what we on LBI are paying.

Vic Fadini

Beach Haven


Comments (1)
Posted by: Jean D Ragone | Sep 07, 2017 06:51

I have no problem with paying my fair share even though my children graduated years ago because we all benefit from educating children. However, as a Harvey Cedars tax payer, I continue to be astounded by the disproportionate funding of the Southern Regional School District's budget. I realize that the Island tax payers will always pay a significantly higher portion of the school budget but the current formula is absurd. I find it extremely unfair that we fund such a significant portion of the school budget with no representation. If the Island tax payers do indeed fund 80% of Southern's budget and the formula is not changed then the Island NEEDS to have far more say in the school district and its budget. Eighty percent of the Southern Regional School District's board should be Island residents.

If you wish to comment, please login.