Cranbury school board adopts $20.1 million budget for 2021-22 school year

ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

The Cranbury Township Board of Education has adopted a $20.1 million budget to fund school district operations during the 2021-22 academic year.

Board President Karen Callahan, Vice President Pramod Chivate and board members Peter Katz, Lisa Rue, Laura Hoffman and Rob Christopher voted “yes” to adopt the budget on April 28.

Board members Dominique Jones and Lindsay McDowell were absent from the meeting.

The 2021-22 budget provides for two additional teachers and two additional teaching assistants, additional funding for expansion of in-person learning, education programs, staffing and services, tuition payments to Princeton Public Schools and funds transportation services, according to the school district’s presentation.

To support the $20.1 million budget, residential and commercial property owners in the township will pay a total tax levy of $18.53 million. The levy is a slight increase from the previous school year budget, which means property owners will pay about $445,000 in additional school property taxes to support the district.

Residential and commercial property owners in the township paid a total tax levy of $18.08 million to support a $20.18 million budget for the 2020-21 school year.

The school district’s state aid will increase from $659,587 in 2020-21 to $776,390 in 2021-22.

In Cranbury, the school tax rate is expected to be 95.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of home still assessed at $607,000 will pay about $5,802 in school taxes for 2021-22.

During the 2020-21 school year, the tax rate was 97 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $607,000 paid about $5,887 in school taxes in 2020-21.

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.

School taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes municipal taxes and Middlesex County taxes.

The Cranbury School district budget covers items that include Princeton High tuition and services, K-8 regular education programs, employee benefits, operations, maintenance, security, special education and transportation.

On the appropriations portion of the budget, the school district’s appropriations include $4.39 million on Princeton High School tuition and services (district student enrollment at Princeton High School is expected to be 247 in 2021-22), $4.19 million on K-8 regular education programs, $3.05 million towards employee benefits, $2.4 million for special education in and out of the district, $1.35 million on operations, maintenance and security, and $1.16 million for transportation.

Outside of the total tax levy, the revenues side of the budget includes $776,390 in state aid, a $450,000 withdrawal from tuition reserve, $467,000 in debt service, $150,000 withdrawal from the maintenance reserve, $146,474 from grants and entitlements, and $141,909 in federal sources, according to budget documents.