Please be advised that our board meeting scheduled for this Wednesday has been postponed and will be rescheduled later in the month.
BOE News & Reports
Thomas Gillman was recognized for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout at the June 13, 2018 meeting of the Manchester Townhip Board of Education.
Manchester's 2018 Teachers and Educational Service Professionals (ESP) of the Year were honored at the May 9, 2018 Board of Education meeting. The honorees were nominated by their peers at each school. Superintendent David Trethaway and Board of Education President Donald Webster, Jr. congratulated and thanked the honorees for their dedication to the children of Manchester.
The total general fund budget is $54,110,272, the general fund local tax levy is $45,262,715 and debt service local tax levy is $2,786,444. Business Administrator Craig Lorentzen said that the annual local tax impact would be an increase of $36 per $100,000 of assessed home value, or $58 for the average township home assessment of $161,100.
We continue to monitor education related legislation and regulations that may impact Manchester. On the state level, the legislature and the governor finally came to agreement on a state budget for 2018-2019. The legislature also passed A-2/S-2 that are bills that require districts identified under the current flawed school funding formula as "overfunded" to give up aid to "underfunded districts" over the next seven years. Our analysis indicates this could result in the loss of $1.5 million or more in state aid for Manchester. This act will place increased pressure on the district to maintain mandated programs and services for our diverse student population and will ultimately have an adverse impact on our schools. It will also likely have a negative impact on our local property taxpayers. The DOE has now advised us that our aid will be reduced by $332,216 from the budget that was approved by the state and presented to the public in March. This represents a 5.79% overall reduction. According to recent media reports, Manchester's aid reduction as a percentage was the 49th highest out of 578 districts who receive aid in the state.
The state's current seriously flawed school funding formula continues to view Manchester as a wealthy community that does not need financial assistance from the state. This view flies in the face of various economic, social and demographic data and related indicators that all show that Manchester is not a wealthy community. Yet we will continue to be saddled with a myriad of unfunded or partially funded state education mandates, with more in the planning stages. Many districts throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties will be facing a similar predicament going forward.
Other bills that are advancing in the legislature include: A-1414 that would require Financial Literacy Education for grades 6-8; A-2189/S-2092 that would require "sexting" warnings and instruction be provided to our students, and S-2293/A3902 that would place a public ballot question on the November election to authorize the bonding of $1 billion for school security improvements, water delivery system improvements in schools in order to mitigate exposure to lead, and capital improvement funding for County Vocational School CTE (Career & Technical Education) programs and County College CTE programs.
Manchester School District
As part of the preparation for our retreat/goal setting process at this month's meeting, I put together some thoughts about the challenges and issues we face as a district and I shared them with the board members in order to help aid us in our discussion about next year. I also put together a list of proposed goals for the board itself in order to help us focus on our individual challenges as a board.
On 7/10, I participated in a Schools Certification Committee Meeting. At this meeting we discussed proposed updates to the approved table of sustainable actions that schools/districts can engage in in order to receive credits towards to overall certification status in the program. Final decisions regarding the proposed action items will be made at our September meeting. We also were told that we now have 766 schools representing 302 districts participating in the program statewide. This represents more than half of all districts in the state.
The next regular meeting of the Manchester Township Board of Education is tentatively scheduled to be held on August 22 at the Ridgeway Elementary School with the Public portion of the meeting beginning at 7:30 PM.