The Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District Board of Education has introduced an $84.95 million budget to fund the operation of the school district during the 2021-22 academic year.
An initial budget that was under consideration by the board totaled $83.21 million. That spending plan was revised by district administrators and the $84.95 million budget was introduced upon the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Joseph Majka.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 26 at the Lloyd Road Elementary School in Aberdeen Township. Residents may ask questions about the budget or offer comments at that time.
Residential and commercial property owners in Aberdeen Township are expected to pay $40.86 million in a local tax levy to support the 2021-22 budget.
Residential and commercial property owners in Matawan are expected to pay $19.65 million in a local tax levy to support the 2021-22 budget.
Business Administrator Arlene Biesiada provided information about the taxes to be paid by homeowners during the upcoming year.
Biesiada said the average home in Matawan is assessed at $367,375. The school tax rate in Matawan is projected to be $1.68 per $100 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at the borough average will pay about $6,170 (1.68 x 3,673) in school taxes.
Biesiada said the average home in Aberdeen Township is assessed at $351,839. The school tax rate in Aberdeen Township is projected to be $1.73 per $100 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at the township average will pay about $6,086 (1.73 x 3,518) in school taxes.
School taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill in Matawan and in Aberdeen Township. Property owners also pay Monmouth County taxes and municipal taxes.
Individuals pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of their home and/or property and the tax rate established by each taxing entity.
The 2021-22 school budget will incorporate a $675,888 increase in state aid. The district will see its state aid increase from $12.76 million in 2020-21 to $13.43 million in 2021-22 under the terms of state legislation known as S-2.
During regular business, board members determined it is necessary to withdraw $2.2 million from the capital reserve account to pay for the local share of the following projects that have been included in the 2021-22 budget:
• Replacement of synthetic turf and track at Matawan Regional High School, $1.5 million;
• Upgrades to the baseball press box at Matawan Regional High School, $100,000;
• Upgrades to the playground at the Lloyd Road Elementary School, $150,000;
• Repaving parking lot at the Ravine Drive Elementary School, $450,000.
Board members also determined it is necessary to withdraw $900,000 from the maintenance reserve account to cover costs associated with the general fund maintenance accounts.
The school district’s enrollment is declining. Biesiada said the K-12 enrollment in October 2019 was 3,802 pupils. The K-12 enrollment in October 2020 was 3,655 pupils. The projected K-12 enrollment in October 2021 is 3,609 pupils.
In other business, board members approved the retirement of Ravine Drive Elementary School Principal Patricia Janover, who will retire on May 31. Janover started in her position on Sept. 1, 2000.
Board members also approved the retirement of Matawan Regional High School secretary Nancy Zanghi, who will retire on June 30. Zanghi started in her position on July 1, 2000.