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High school board introduces 2016-17 budget

By Peter Elacqua
Staff Writer

April 25 has been scheduled as the date for a public hearing on a $206.1 million budget that the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education has introduced for the 2016-17 school year.

According to district administrators, the budget will be supported by the collection of a combined $132.3 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners in the district’s eight sending municipalities.

Residents of the sending communities will have the opportunity to comment on or ask questions about the budget during the public hearing at 8 p.m. April 25 in the district’s administration building at 11 Pine Street, Englishtown.

The FRHSD’s 2015-16 budget totaled $201.9 million and was supported by a tax levy of $129.73 million, according to information provided by district administrators.

The FRHSD will receive $52.88 million in state aid for 2016-17 after receiving $51.45 million in state aid in 2015-16. Administrators will use $11.65 million from surplus (savings) as revenue in the 2016-17 budget. The 2015-16 budget used $12.17 million from surplus as revenue.

The board has not presented tax rates for the eight sending municipalities for 2016-17, but did provide the total amount of taxes that property owners will pay in the upcoming year:

• Colts Neck, $13.1 million for 2016-17; down from $13.5 million in 2015-16.

• Englishtown, $919,169 for 2016-17, up from $898,319 in 2015-16.

• Farmingdale, $506,587 for 2016-17; up from $480,308 in 2015-16.

• Freehold Borough, $3.31 million for 2016-17; up from $3.06 million in 2015-16.

• Freehold Township, $29.28 million for 2016-17; up from $26.93 million 2015-16.

• Howell, $27.54 million for 2016-17; down from $27.55 million in 2015-16.

• Manalapan, $26.06 million for 2016-17; up from $25.78 million in 2015-16.

• Marlboro, $31.52 million for 2016-17; down from $31.55 million in 2015-16.

Boyce said the district’s enrollment for the 2015-16 school year is 11,136 students and he said administrators are anticipating a 1 percent decrease in enrollment for 2016-17, which is consistent with the past two years. The amount of staff members will remain the same next year.

“We continue to develop the district initiatives and programs tied to our strategic plan and aligned to the various state mandates underway in New Jersey, including implementation of a new teacher evaluation system, conversion of curriculum and teaching and learning expectations tied to the Common Core State Standards,” Boyce said.

“Our (2016-17) budget also includes funds to support instructional data platforms that assist in the warehousing, aggregation, analysis and reporting (internal diagnostics on performance by student(s), teacher(s), course, etc. used to improve instruction through classroom practice, professional development planning).

“We are also allocating funds for the administration of standardized tests, particularly the PSAT 8/9 and PSAT/NMSQT, as well as funding for systems to administer standards-aligned assessments and activities toward the diagnosis of student strengths and weaknesses,” Boyce said.

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