Education

$128M Hillsborough School Budget Increases Taxes $40

Dr. Jorden Schiff, Hillsborough superintendent of Schools Credits: Tapinto File Photo

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Board of Education has approved a $128.1M budget for the 2017-18 school year that maintains all programs and class sizes, costing the average homeowner an additional $40 per year in taxes.

The budget will also fund priorities in the areas of student mental health and English Language Arts.

Initiatives addressed by the new budget include:

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● Three additional elementary school counselor positions;

● Focus on the English Language Arts curriculum, training and materials;

● Replacement of Chromebooks in kindergarten through second grade;

● Expanding the American Sign Language program to include Level II;

The approved budget’s tax levy is made up of three components:a 2 percent increase to the general fund tax levy ($1,774,518), use of a health care waiver ($674,341), and use of banked cap ($807,879).

The budget increases Hillsborough’s tax levy by 3.47% from last year ($90,489,799). Under this budget, the tax rate for Hillsborough residents will increase by 0.63%, from $1.595 per $100 of assessed property to $1.605 per $100. The average Hillsborough homeowner will see an increase of $40 for the year on a home assessed at $400,000.

The budget also increases Millstone Borough’s tax levy from $904,128 to $937,312. Under this budget, the tax rate for Millstone residents will increase by 3.02% from $1.689 per $100 of assessed property to $1.748 per $100. The average Millstone homeowner will see an increase of $188 for the year on a home assessed at $316,858.

As in most New Jersey public school districts, the largest cost drivers in the budget are increases in salaries, health care costs and special education costs. While these costs have increased, Hillsborough’s state funding has remained flat at approximately $25 million.

These cost drivers are being offset by district cost saving measures such as reducing the district energy costs through an Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP),employee contributions to health care costs, revenue generating programs, transportation efficiencies, and changes to how the district funds long term substitutes.

The approved budget will continue to fund Hillsborough Township Public Schools, whose high school, and the district as a whole, continue to be recognized both in the state of New Jersey and nationally.

● Hillsborough High School was listed in the Washington Post as the 2,179th most

challenging high schools in the country;

● New Jersey Monthly ranked Hillsborough High School as #47 on their 2016 list of Top

Schools;

● Hillsborough High School was ranked #217 in the country on Newsweek’s 2016

America’s Top High School list;

● Niche.com ranked Hillsborough High School #62 in their 2017 list of Best Public High

Schools in New Jersey;

● Hillsborough Township Public Schools wwere named the #227th Best School Districts in

America by Niche.com.

“The hard working and dedicated students, staff, administration, and parents have earned these accolades for both our high school and the district as a whole,” said Dr. Jorden Schiff, superintendent of Schools. “I am confident that the 2017-2018 school budget continues to support the growth of our students while doing so in a financially responsible manner.”

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