The Hopewell Valley Regional School District Board of Education has introduced a $92.3 million budget to fund the operation of the school district during the 2020-21 school year.
A public hearing to adopt the budget is scheduled for April 27 at the district’s administration building in Pennington.
Board President Deborah Linthorst, Vice President Adam Sawicki and board members Jessica Grillo, Alyce Murray, Debra O’Reilly, John Mason, Sarah Tracy, Jenny Long and William Herbert voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the budget on March 16.
The 2020-21 budget proposes a reduction of four full-time teachers (two from the K-5 level and two from Hopewell Valley Central High School), one administrative position and one secretary’s position.
“We do not foresee any additional reductions at this time for 2020-21, however, we plan to continue incremental reductions in the upcoming years to reflect the changes in enrollment,” Superintendent of Schools Thomas Smith said.
For the 2019-20 school year, administrators reduced five full-time staff members on the elementary school level and one full-time teacher at the high school.
During the 2019-20 school year, administrators used $2.74 million from the district’s surplus fund as revenue in the budget.
For 2020-21, administrators are proposing to use $2.83 million from surplus as revenue in the budget.
According to the state Department of Education, the school district’s state aid will increase from $3.97 million in 2019-20 to $4.53 million in 2020-21.
“The number was close to what we anticipated for this year. Based on the state formula, we are expecting a similar increase in each of the next four years, until we reach full funding,” Smith said.
Residential and commercial property owners in the three municipalities that make up the school district – Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township and Pennington– will pay a total tax levy of $82.24 million to support the $92.3 million budget for the upcoming school year.
The 2019-20 tax levy was $81.2 million, which means property owners in those three municipalities will pay an additional $1 million in school property taxes to support the district in 2020-21.
In Hopewell Borough, the school tax rate will be $1.71 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $404,000 will pay about $6,908 in school taxes in 2020-21.
In Hopewell Township, the school tax rate will be $1.72 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $494,000 will pay about $8,496 in school taxes in 2020-21.
In Pennington, the school tax rate will be $1.62 per $100 of assessed valuations. The owner of a home assessed at $464,000 will pay about $7,516 in school taxes in 2020-21.
School taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes municipal taxes and county taxes.
The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.