Manalapan officials push state for additional school aid

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MANALAPAN – Although the Township Committee does not have a say in the school budgets that are developed on an annual basis by two local school boards, municipal officials have made their feelings known about a pending reduction in school state aid.

During the Sept. 26 meeting of the governing body, Manalapan’s elected officials passed a resolution demanding a supplemental school funding appropriation from the state. The resolution was unanimously approved by Mayor Jack McNaboe, Deputy Mayor Susan Cohen, Committeeman David Kane, Committeewoman Mary Anne Musich and Committeeman Kevin Uniglicht.

The two school districts receiving the support of the committee are the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District and the Freehold Regional High School District. The resolution states both districts “are consistently determined to be high performing and efficient regional districts.”

According to the resolution, the New Jersey state government recently passed legislation and under that legislation, over the next seven years, the Freehold Regional High School District will lose more than $25 million in state aid and the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District will lose more than $39 million in state aid.

Committee members said the current school funding formula unfairly targets both districts and said the reduction in state aid will have “a significant negative impact on the education of children in the Freehold Regional High School District and the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District.”

The committee said it is supporting Assembly bill A-4245 and Senate bill S-2825, which would, if passed in the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, provide a supplemental appropriation to restore the funding to the same amount of state aid provided in the last fiscal year.

S-2825 was introduced on July 23 and has been referred to the Senate Education Committee. Republican Sen. Sam Thompson, whose district includes Englishtown and Manalapan, is the primary sponsor of the bill.

“We want to let taxpayers know we are looking out for them,” Township Administrator Tara Lovrich said before committee members passed the resolution.