COLTS NECK – Members of the Colts Neck K-8 School District Board of Education have unanimously adopted a $27.8 million budget to support the operation of the school district during the 2021-22 school year.
The 2021-22 budget will be supported through the collection of $25 million in taxes from Colts Neck’s residential and commercial property owners. Property taxes account for about 90% of the budget’s revenue.
The school district’s 2020-21 budget totaled $27.17 million and was supported by a $24.39 million tax levy. From 2020-21 to 2021-22, total spending will increase by about $630,000 and the tax levy will increase by about $610,000.
Under the terms of a state law known as S-2 that was enacted in 2018 and funds New Jersey’s schools, Colts Neck will see its state aid increase from $1.21 million in 2020-21 to $1.37 million in 2021-22, according to the New Jersey Department of Education.
In 2020-21, the K-8 school tax rate was 81.14 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $823,000 paid about $6,678 in K-8 school taxes (0.8114 x 8,230).
In 2021-22, the K-8 school tax is projected to decrease to 81.12 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the new township average of $846,300 would pay about $6,865 in K-8 school taxes (0.8112 x 8,463).
In addition to K-8 school taxes, property owners also pay Colts Neck municipal taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.
The total amount an individual pays in taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.
District officials said the 2021-22 budget will fund capital improvements that include the following:
• Cedar Drive Middle School – replacement of floor tiles from four classrooms; replacement of hallway exit doors in the sixth and seventh grade wing; renovation of student bathrooms in the seventh grade wing from 1966, using capital reserve funds; renovation of faculty and student bathrooms adjacent to the media center; replacement of six unit ventilators and adding air conditioning to the sixth grade wing, using capital reserve funds;
• Conover Road Elementary School – replacement of three original courtyard doors;
• Other – replacement of two side entrance doors and a kitchen door at the administration building; three mobile air scrubbers with HEPA filters; each school will have two commercial units for deployment.
Selected appropriations in the budget for 2021-22 include employee benefits, $4.95 million; general education, $6.89 million; and special education, $3.08 million.
There are currently 240 employees in the school district. Administrators said that number would adjust slightly to 240.5 employees for 2021-22 with the addition of a new instructional staff position and the elimination of a part-time support staff position.
The certified instructional staff will increase from 115 employees to 116 employees, according to the budget.
The school district consists of the Conover Road Primary School, the Conover Road Elementary School and the Cedar Drive Middle School.
Colts Neck’s schools have a total enrollment of 951 pupils, according to a budget document posted on the school district’s website. Administrators anticipate an increase in enrollment to 961 students for the 2021-22 school year.
The members of the school board are Kathryn Gizzo, president; Danielle Alpaugh, vice president; Marian Castner, Jacquelyn Hoagland, Marci Klein, Kevin O’Connor, Dr. Kimberly Raymond, Heather Tormey and Tracy Kramer.