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Warren Township Schools Propose Budget, Hearing April 28

Brenda A. Nemcek

Saturday, April 26, 2014 • 12:53pm

 

WARREN, NJ - The public hearing on the Warren Township Board of Education budget is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 28.
 
As proposed, the tentative budget is proposed at  $42,760,138. Last year’s approved budget was $42,143,301.
 
The proposed budget calls for a tax rate of 92.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is a 1.1 cent decrease from last year’s 93.3 cents. 
 
However, because the property value of an average priced home in Warren has increased from from $643,205 to $661,753, based on an average assessed house, taxes will go up even though the tax rate has gone down.
 
School taxes for the average home would be $6,100, compared to $5,998 of last year.
 
Technology costs,  increases in health care costs and the costs of special education once again challenge the budget.
 
Next year’s budget supports the continuation of all of the fine programs currently running in Warren, including full time support structures for students (Basic Skills, Gifted and Talented, and Guidance) and the recently developed Innovation and Design program, new Geometry Honors course, and expanded world language offerings.
 
The school district will continue to maintain its low class sizes, courtesy busing, and the Warren Middle School late bus. The budget also supports the acquisition of personal computing devices (Chromebooks) for incoming 6th-grade students, who will use them throughout their Middle School career. 
 
Although the increased tax levy for Fund 10 (General Fund) is 2%, this is mitigated by the Fund 40 (Debt Service) tax levy decrease of 4.58%. The resulting overall increase to the tax levy is 1.90%. Information about budget highlights and details can be found on the district’s web site. The 2014-2015 Budget reflects a strong commitment to providing excellent school programs and to conservative planning and spending. 
 
Technology was the reason for a good portion of the budget additions. The Chromebook 1:1 initiative, began in January. Every student in the sixth grade at Warren Middle School received a Chromebook. “The Chromebooks were a big item for the middle schoolers,” said Crader. “And instead of a five-year technology replenishment plan, we have a four, so we need more computers.”
 
As the schools transition from NJ ASK to PARCC testing, more computers are needed since PARCC is administered on computers.
 
Balancing those additions are subtractions to the budget, due in part to declining enrollment.
 
Superintendent, Dr. Tami  Crader, said" Due to declining enrollment we will be down three teachers, because we do not need those positions. That may change over the summer, but as of right now we need three less than last year."
 
Board members, the Business Administrator, and the Superintendent welcome questions and/or comments about the 2014-2015 Budget.
 
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