Cranbury School Board adopts 2023-’24 budget with slight tax increase
Cranbury School District will continue to maintain services with the 2023-24′ school year budget.
Board of Education President Pramod Chivate, Vice President Dominique Jones, and Board members Emma Bossard, Katherine Lara, Rob Christopher, Colleen Raymond, Milton Georges, Lisa Rue and Sehrope Sarkuni unanimously voted in favor of the $22.4 million district budget that funds operations for the 2023-’24 school year at the April 26 board meeting.
The budget maintains educational programs, staffing and services currently provided for all students, funds tuition payments to Princeton Public Schools, and provides transportation services and out-of-district special education placements.
Additionally, the budget maintains the two teacher positions and two teacher assistant positions that were added in the 2022-’23 school year budget, according to the budget presentation.
Cranbury residential and commercial property owners will support the $22.4 million budget by paying a tax levy of $18.8 million.
The levy slightly increases from the previous school year budget, which means property owners will pay $369,000 in additional school property taxes.
The school district’s state aid also increases from $910,267 in 2022-’23 to $1.2 million for the upcoming school year.
For Cranbury property owners, the school tax rate is expected to be 99.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which is a 1.6 cent increase from 2022-’23.
The owner of average home assessed at $606,563 will pay about $6,035 in school taxes for 2023-’24.
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 just 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 not only the Princeton High School tuition, but K-8 regular education programs, special education, transportation, employee benefits, and maintenance.
The school district’s appropriations include $4.6 million for Princeton High School tuition, $4.1 million for K-8 regular education programs, $3 million towards employee benefits, $1.8 million for transportation, $1.3 million towards out-of-district special education tuition, $1.2 million for special education, $1.4 million on operations, maintenance and security and $1.35 million towards student support services.
The revenues, not including the tax levy, consist of $1.2 million in state aid, a $450,000 withdrawal from tuition reserve, $272,000 from savings, $159,000 from grants and entitlements, $156,000 in federal sources, and $150,000 from the maintenance reserve, and $18,750 from transportation fees from individuals, according to budget documents.
The school district continues to face an increase in cost for student transportation services as fuel costs rise and the bus driver shortage continues. The district administration plans to address the rising costs by renewing the prior year bid award invitation to maintain costs.
The district will also continue monitoring the rise in healthcare costs with inflation and work with their insurance broker for the potential to lower premiums, according to the budget presentation.