By Neil Schulman
West Long Branch — On Thursday evening, April 30th, the Shore Regional High School District Board of Education approved a zero percent budget increase for the fourth year in a row.
The Shore Regional High School District Board of Education has approved its 2015-2016 school budget. This is the fourth year in a row that the Shore Regional High School District has a budget with no increase.
“With the approval of the 2015-2016 Shore Regional budget, this Board of Education has saved the taxpayers of the communities we serve, millions of dollars by not increasing the tax levy,” stated Dennis W. Kotch, Shore Regional Business Administrator in a release.
Some budget highlights:
• A $13,852,556 local tax levy — same as last year — in a total budget of $17,232,203.
• Sea Bright will see the greatest reduction in its share, down -3.77 from the from 2014-2015 budget. The average assessed home in
Sea Bright should see a reduction of $790 in school taxes for 2015-2016.
Sea Bright’s tax levy was reduced by $292,510. School officials say over the last ten years, Sea Bright has had a budget fluctuation of +/- 0.4 percent on average.
This can be attributed to the State funding formula and the fact that the Shore Regional High School District submitted for a Community Disaster Loan (CDL) for relief on their behalf.
“This is the third budget that I have been a part of,” says Superintendent Thomas G. Farrell. “We are very proud of this accomplishment and we can attribute it to sound fiscal management and shared services, with no loss of programming for our students. Our Business Administrator and Board of Education should be commended.”
At the May 19 Sea Bright Council meeting, Mayor Dina Long said that the borough always appreciates the work of the school, which has “good financial management.” However, the borough still has major issues with the state formula, which requires them to pay 20 percent of the school’s budget even though their residents only make up 3 percent of the student body.
“Our issue is not with Shore Regional the school; our issue is with the funding formula,” Long said.
Sea Bright is still exploring options on getting the formula changed or finding a way to leave the district.