In what the Christie administration calls “the largest appropriation of K-12 education dollars in the state’s history,” West Deptford got a bump in its state aid to schools.
The district will receive 3.8 percent more in the coming year from its state package than it does now. State aid will total $11,973,549, an increase of $441,890.
The news of any state aid increase is likely welcome to West Deptford administrators, who have taxpayers staring down the barrel of a tax hike. The preliminary budget presented at the school’s board workshop meeting featured a tax rate increase of 9.9¢ per $100 of assessed property value.
A steep drop in West Deptford’s ratables—the number of taxable properties—in West Deptford. This year's decrease amounts to just more than $188.1 million, an even larger decrease than last year's $172 million ratable decrease.
Superintendent Kevin Kitcheman didn’t return a message before presstime for comment.
Statewide, aid to school districts totaled $9 billion for the coming fiscal year, an increase of $97.3 million. Some local districts made out better than others. Deptford will see an increase similar to West Deptford’s, while Woodbury Heights received just $1 more.
“Throughout my time in office I have continuously argued that in order to grow New Jersey’s economy we must invest in education, and my proposed budget is a reflection of my commitment to our educational system and communities across the state,” Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for re-election this coming year, said in a statement.
“However, even as we continue to fund education at the highest levels in state history, we must remain willing to reflect on how we are spending our money and work towards solutions that make every dollar we invest count.”
West Deptford’s 2013-14 state aid breakdown, not including the debt service fee, is:
K-12 2013-2014 Total Aid: $11,973,549
Equalized Aid: $9,715,221
Education Adequacy Aid: $0
Choice Aid: $0
Transportation Aid: $289,865
Special Education Aid: $1,682,240
Security Aid: $286,223
Under Adequacy Aid: $0
Supplemental Enrollment Growth Aid: $0
Adjustment Aid: $0
Additional Adjustment Aid: $0
One Year Aid Change: $441,890
Percent Aid Change: 3.8