Dear HTS Community:
Last night at the Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the final 2014-2015 Harding Township School budget. Specific information, including the 2014-2015 User Friendly Budget can be found on our website. In addition, the Budget Connections newsletter was mailed to all township homes in late April.
The total budget that was approved was increased by only 1.90% with a modest tax levy increase of 2.60%. This budget is a reflection, in financial terms, of the school district’s priorities. Specifically, there is a strong focus on our core academic mission and a concurrent emphasis on social-emotional learning, co-curricular activities, technology integration and maintaining our very small class size. Additionally, our administrative costs have been lowered significantly and we have budgeted money for our capital needs.
Last week, the New Jersey Department of Education released an additional school funding clarification memorandum. Based on the 2008 School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) formula, Harding Township School should be receiving $364,473 in categorical state aid. This year our district received only $233,677. The underfunding of 56% critically impacts our school district and places undue pressure on local property taxes. Moreover, this underfunding has been compounded year over year since 2010, leaving the district underfunded over the past five years by approximately $960,000!
Also at the meeting last night, the Board voted to accept a $29,075 donation from the PTO for Smartboard refurbishments in the elementary school. As mentioned in previous blog posts, this project will be completed over the summer recess. Lastly, a message from the PTO:
The PTO appreciates all their donors and wants to invite all parents to a social event at the Kemmerer Library on Wednesday, May 14 from 8:00-9:30pm. Be on the lookout for the official “e-vite” later this week.