The school budget in any township in New Jersey makes up the majority of your property tax bill, and Marlboro is no different.
Superintendent Dr. David Abbott is visiting Marlboro schools for the next month, explaining how the school budget is broken down, and how it impacts property taxes in Marlboro.
According to Abbott, the 2012-13 budget will lower the tax impact by 2.5 cents. For the last two years, taxes have not been raised nor lowered by the school budget.
The Board of Education is proposing a . Abbott said 85 cents on of every dollar is generated through tax revenue, which makes up 80.2 percent of the budget.
Help from the state came again this year, with state aid totaling $11,503,607, an increase of . That aid is broken down into special education, transportation aid, security aid, and equalization aid, making up 14.9 percent of the budget.
Abbott said a large chunk of the budget is going toward core curriculum shifts, as New Jersey joins 45 other states in what will come close to a blanket, national curriculum. The superintendent also said Marlboro is looking toward the future, with one-time including wireless technology carts, e-books, and digital assessment resources.
"The budget is driven by curriculum this year," Abbott said.
Abbott also explained that fixed spending in the district, such as mandates from teacher contracts including salary and benefits, is something the board has little say on. Fixed spending makes up 87.4 percent of the school budget.
Board members and administration did find a new prescription benefits plan for contarcts, saving the district $300,000.
"Only about 11.5 cents on every dollar is discretionary and up to the Board of Education," he said.
And many of those decisions by the Board of Education have to do with creating revenue for the district, such as the new , which has been .
Abbott said a decline in student enrollment has more classrooms available, creating a revenue opportunity for the district. The 2012-23 projected enrollment is 5,387, a decrease of 537 students since 2003. Abbott said the economy and the housing market is making people re-think expenses and life choices, including having children and buying a home.
"When the housing industry corrects, this enrollment is going to go right back up," he said.
The district also has several capital improvement plans for the year, totaling $758,000. Projects include walk replacements at the administration building and middle schools, roof improvements at and repaving the drop-off and bus area at Defino.
There will be more throughout March and April, all of which can be found through the Patch Events Calendar.
The . The last day to register to vote for the election Tuesday, March 27. Information about voter registration can be found on the district website.
The Marlboro Township Board of Education , a move allowed by a new permissive state law. This means the April election ballot will also include a vote on the district budget.
The entire budget presentation is attached as a .pdf file to this article.