Freehold Township school board trims budget to make up for lost state aid


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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Following the reduction of $68,327 in state aid being provided to the Freehold Township K-8 School District for 2018-19, the Board of Education has reduced appropriations to account for the aid that has been lost.

Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s initial proposal in March, the school district’s state aid package for the 2018-19 school year was expected to total $4.6 million. Using that number and following directives from state officials, district administrators crafted an $81.61 million budget for July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

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However, the district’s state aid allocation changed in July following negotiations between Murphy and leaders in the state Legislature resulted in a law that changed New Jersey’s school funding process and trimmed Freehold Township’s state aid to $4.53 million, a decrease of $68,327.

As a result of the decrease, board members reduced appropriations as recommended by Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun. The board took the action on July 31.

According to district administrators, most of the reductions, $66,247, will be made in security supplies. The remaining $2,080 will be reduced from instructional supplies.

District administrators said they could not specify which supplies will not be purchased as a result of the decrease.

According to Business Administrator Robert DeVita, a specific purpose had not been identified for the $66,247 reduction in security supplies, which was part of an original increase of revenue from state aid in March of $329,358 and other increased revenue from tuition students. As a result of this increase, the security portion of the district’s $81.61 million budget for 2018-19 increased by more than $400,000.

“Since the original appropriations were tied to the original state aid amount, it made sense to reduce this line now that the funding was gone,” DeVita said.

Despite the reduction from Murphy’s initial proposal for 2018-19, the $4.53 million the district has received from the state for 2018-19 is an increase of $261,031 from the $4.27 million Freehold Township received for 2017-18, according to figures provided by the state.

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