Galloway board adopts school budget with 1.5% tax increase – Shore News Today

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — The Board of Education adopted its 2018-19 budget Monday night by a vote of 7-0.

Two school board members — Rosemary Goldberg and Dr. Sherri Parmenter — were absent.

For a home assessed at $200,000, a resident will see a $44.57 increase in the school tax bill, according to the budget presentation made by Superintendent Annette C. Giaquinto and Joy N. Nixon, business administrator.

The local school tax rate will increase from 1.180 to 1.203, which raises the tax levy by 1.5 percent.

That does not include municipal taxes, county taxes or taxes for the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District, which includes Absegami High School.

«Obviously, our role is to build a responsible school budget,» Giaquinto said. «It really is all about balance, looking at the instructional and noninstructional side of the budget as well as the balance between providing a quality education and understanding the needs of the taxpayers.»

Residents will be responsible for $32,689,589 through the local tax levy, an increase of $540,583 from last year.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Residents will see a increase in the K-8th grade portion of their school…

The school district’s current budget totals $62 million. The budget for the next academic year totals $64 million. Even though $2.29 million in budget cuts were made, the total budget amount rose, mostly due to the increased costs of salaries and benefits.

The $2.29 million worth of reductions included only replacing one of two retiring elementary classroom teachers, reductions in or elimination of various categories of professional development, and prioritization of facilities projects which were either moved to maintenance reserve or eliminated from budget.

The budget includes such additions as hiring a licensed mental specialist as a full-time staff member and enhancing school safety and security by replacement of the existing video surveillance system, which is a capital project with some costs in the local budget.

The presentation also revealed a $597,088 rise in state aid as well as a $1.7 million increase in ratables, which was for the first time in many years.

Ratables have dropped in the municipality from a high of $3.68 billion in 2010 to $2.69 billion this year, Nixon said.

A public hearing was held April 30 after three preliminary budget presentations on Feb. 26, March 19 and 26.  

In other business, the board:

• Approved middle school students volunteering on May 11 and June 1 at the  Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township. Staff will transport with parent approval.

• Approved the Reeds Road Elementary School fourth-grade students walking on May 17 and 18 to Absegami High School to build birdhouses with the advanced shop students.

• Approved the Arthur Rann Elementary School fourth-grade students walking on May 18 to Patriot Park to conduct a park clean-up and plant flowers.

• Approved the preschool students at Smithville Elementary School traveling on May 24 to Pomona Preschool to attend the Barnyard Friends assembly. Transportation provided courtesy Integrity Transportation at no cost to the district.

• Approved the United States Police Canine Association request to use the gym, cafeteria and various classrooms at the middle school to host a K-9 training seminar from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19.

• Approved a resolution to apply for the OceanFirst Foundation Model Classroom 2018 Competitive Grant. The submission is titled, «The Middle School Collaborative Learning Lab.» The amount requested was $10,000.

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