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Manalapan-Englishtown school board adopts $95M budget for 2022-23

With a vote of 7-0, the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education has adopted a $95.26 million budget to fund the operation of the school district during the 2022-23 school year.

The budget was adopted during a meeting held May 3. Voting “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget were board President Brian Graime, Vice President Gerald Bruno and board members David Kane, Dotty Porcaro, Jesse Tossetti, Christine Parisi and Ryan Green.

Board members David Ferber and Ryan Urgo were absent from the meeting.

Superintendent of Schools Nicole Santora and Business Administrator Veronica Wolf presented the budget to the board.

Following the presentation and prior to the board’s vote to adopt the budget, Graime thanked Santora, Wolf and the administrative staff “who have done their best to make sure that there is very little to no impact on our students’ learning and education, on our staffing, or to the resources that we provide to our district.”

The 2022-23 budget will be supported by the collection of a $72.65 million tax levy to be collected from residential and commercial property owners in Manalapan and Englishtown.

Property owners in Englishtown will pay approximately $2.5 million of the tax levy and property owners in Manalapan will pay approximately $70 million of the tax levy.

The school district will see a $2.61 million decrease in its state aid from $11.97 million in 2021-22 to $9.36 million in 2022-23 under the terms of a state school funding law known as S-2 that was signed into law in 2018.

As recently as the 2017-18 school year, the school district received $19.79 million in state aid. That amount has decreased to $9.36 million for the 2022-23 school year. Additional reductions in state aid are expected through the 2024-25 school year under S-2.

The school district’s budget for the 2021-22 school year totals $96 million and is being supported through the collection of $70.96 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners in Manalapan and Englishtown.

Some participation fees for student sports, clubs and activities will be increased for the 2022-23 school year and will provide the school district with an anticipated revenue increase of about $50,000, Santora previously said.

The superintendent said students who receive free and reduced price lunch do not pay participation fees for sports, clubs and activities. No child will need to pay a fee to participate in more than three activities (sports, clubs, activities) per year.

During the 2022-23 school year, the K-8 school tax rate in Manalapan is projected to be 82.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $543,388 will pay about $4,482 in K-8 school taxes.

During the 2022-23 school year, the K-8 school tax rate in Englishtown is projected to be 76.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $350,000 will pay about $2,674 in K-8 school taxes.

K-8 school taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill in Manalapan and in Englishtown. The bill also includes taxes that are paid to the municipality, to the Freehold Regional High School District and to Monmouth County.

Individuals pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of their home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity (i.e., municipality, school district, county).

If the assessed value of an individual’s property has increased significantly from one year to the next, that individual could pay more in taxes to a taxing entity (i.e., school district) even if the tax rate for that taxing entity has decreased.

The K-8 tax rate in Manalapan is decreasing from 94.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2021-22 to 82.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2022-23.

The K-8 tax rate in Englishtown is decreasing from 87.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2021-22 to 76.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2022-23.

The budget presentation included the following highlights for the 2022-23 school year:

• Digital Conversion: 620 new Chromebook laptop computers for incoming sixth grade class;

• Integrity of academic programs minimally impacted;

• Availability of extracurricular activities maintained;

• Additional district enrichment teacher to support the program for gifted and talented pupils;

• New versions of enVision Mathematics resources will be implemented in grades K-5; the four-year contract will be paid over two years;

• Reading Workshop will be expanded to grades 4 and 5, including creating classroom libraries;

• Curricular resources to support the revised curriculum.

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