Sayreville school budget earmarks funds for facilities improvements, learning enhancements

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SAYREVILLE – The Sayreville School District Board of Education has introduced a $123 million budget that will fund the operation of the district during the 2022-23 school year.

Following a discussion among district administrators and board members, the budget was introduced on March 15. A public hearing is scheduled for April 26.

The budget, which may be revised until that time, may be adopted following the public hearing.

The budget will be supported by a tax levy of $70.6 million to be paid by the borough’s residential and commercial property owners.

Individuals pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of their home and/or property. School taxes are one component of a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Middlesex County taxes and Sayreville municipal taxes.

The district’s 2021-22 budget had a school tax rate of $3.0080 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the borough was assessed at $146,015. The owner of that home paid about $4,392 in school taxes.

District administrators did not immediately respond to a request regarding the projected school tax rate for the 2022-23 budget.

The $120 million budget adopted by the board for the 2021-22 school year was supported by a tax levy of $69.2 million and the receipt of $33.2 million in state aid.

For the 2022-23 school year, Sayreville is intended to receive $35.8 million in state aid, an increase of $2.58 million. The school district’s state aid has increased each year since the enactment of state legislation known as S-2 in 2018.

Board President Anthony Esposito, board Vice President John Walsh and board members Lucy Bloom, Alison Napolitano, Eileen Pabon, Danielle Pieloch and Patrick Walsh voted “yes” on introducing the budget. Board member Daniel Balka voted “no”. Board member Eloy Fernandez was absent.

After the budget was introduced, Superintendent of Schools Richard Labbe said, “We are very pleased about the passing of the tentative 2022-23 school district budget as the funds in it will assist us in further enhancing student learning and social and emotional development, as well as in improving our operation, facilities and infrastructure. For instance, this budget will fund the refurbishment of a multipurpose room at the middle school, the TV production studio at the high school and student bathrooms at the Truman School.

“Likewise, it will include the construction of a new ticket booth gate in Bomber Stadium, the purchase and installation of bottle filling stations at each school in the district, and new furniture for the high school media center,” he continued. “It will also fund the installation of exterior Wi-Fi at each school, as well as the hiring of full-time technicians and a new technology supervisor.

“We will also use funds from this budget to continue to enhance the security of our buildings, particularly during after school hours, by ensuring that each school is staffed with a full-time evening campus security monitor. Likewise, to address social and emotional learning, we will hire a new school counselor for the middle school, and will continue to use budgeted funds, along with associated grants, to provide district-wide Effective School Solutions Tier 2 and 3 mental health clinical services, including remote psychiatric services for all students.

“In addition, funds from this budget will be used to lease and renovate property that will be the location of a new 18-21-year-old program for our students with disabilities,” Labbe said. “It will also fund the staffing of personnel for this program. Furthermore, funds will be used to hire two new elementary school Academic Skills Instruction teachers to accelerate learning for students in math, a new speech and language therapist, and an elementary school special education teacher.”