MILLTOWN, NJ - The Milltown School District will see an increase in state school funding as a result of the change in the state school funding formula recently adopted by the state legislature and Governor Phil Murphy in the newly passed state budget. Calculations were officially announced on July 16, giving Milltown a $247,957 increase.
Milltown's school district houses two schools, including the Parkview School and the Joyce Kilmer School. The Parkview School is home to grades prekindergarten through third while the Joyce Kilmer School encompasses grades four through eight. Milltown high school students attend Spotswood High School.
“A stronger, fairer New Jersey means making sure that New Jersey’s schools are receiving the funds they need to advance academic excellence for our students,” Murphy said in an announcement last week regarding the change in state educational funding. “After years of neglect, we are turning the page to bring a balanced approach to school aid.”
While the change brings increases to many school districts throughout the Garden State like Milltown and Newark, a handful of others such as Jersey City will see sharp decreases. Newark's district will see state school funding jump $37.5 million while Jersey City's district will drop $3.5 million. Old Bridge's district will also see a loss with a $1,056,834 cut in state educational funding.
Spotswood's state school funding was not really impacted by the change and neither was nearby East Brunswick and South River's, but for Milltown the change means a rise in state educational funding of more than $200,000.
"The majority of this new aid will be allocated to meet immediate needs that were unable to be funded otherwise," Milltown Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Brown said in a statement released by the Milltown School District on July 17. "The most apparent impact for the 2018-19 school year will be the addition of a middle school Social Studies teacher, in order to equal the number of staff in the middle school Science Department. We will also see the addition of a STEM lab in the JK Media Center, which will be equipped with devices and manipulatives to challenge our students as 21st century learners."
"It is important to the Board, Superintendent and Business Administrator, that our budgeting process be thoughtful, transparent and take into consideration the district's immediate long term goals," Brown continued. "Although we always invest the state aid funds in Miltown Schools, due to the fact that the 2018-19 budget has already been developed, we have decided to allocate approximately $100,000 of the increased school aid for 2018-19 tax relief."
"This tax relief is also in recognition of the strain that the previous years of reduced state education aid have put on the residents of Milltown," Brown said. "Therefore, the tax levy as presented in the May public budget hearing will be reduced, lowering the school tax impact on the homeowner for 2018-19."
The Milltown School District received $1,186,590 in state educational funding for the 2017-18 school year. Prior to the change in state school funding formula, the district was to receive $1,234,838 for the 2018-19 academic year. However, the revised number became $1,482,795 after the change, giving the district an added $247,957.
"We are very thankful for the increased state funding," Brown added. "And excited about using it to best serve our students in an educational environment of continued excellence."
The Jamesburg School District also came out on the plus side with the change in state educational funding, seeing an increase of $238,396 as did Monroe Township. Monroe's school district will see a jump of $1,656,602.