WARREN , NJ - The Watchung Hills Regional High School District received good news in the form of additional state aid money. The state has released revised numbers regarding state aid to all districts in New Jersey.
The revised numbers were released by Gov. Phil Murphy July 13. They represent updated figures on a distribution of $8.5 billion in state aid for school districts as outlined in the state's budget.
Watchung Hills Regional High School received an additional $224,010. A special meeting of the Board of Education will be held to determine how it will be used after the board deadlocked at its meeting last week whether to use the funds or to give it back to the taxpayers.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25 at 7 p.m.
At the last meeting, six board members voted for a resolution that calls for the expansion of the cost of the building project already approved to replace the Gym 7/8 boys and girls locker rooms during the 2018/19 school year and to appropriate an additional $224,010 from additional categorical state aid funds awarded to include the addition of air conditioning in Gym 7/8 to the project. The budgeted cost of the project already approved is $1,200,000.
Gym 7/8 is used for gym classes, girls basketball and volleyball games, AP testing, summer camps and summer school.
Two board members voted to return the additional $224,010 to the taxpayers.
Business Administrator Timothy Stys said the average savings for homeowners would be: in Warren $10.26, in Watchung $8.93, and in Long Hill $7.75.
“Giving it back” doesn’t typically mean a refund check. The municipalities are the tax collection entity. If the overall tax levy is reduced, residents most likely would receive an adjustment on their tax bill, not an individual refund check.
This year’s budget is approximately $46.04 million including money received from the state in the form of debt service for the turf field, Stys said. Last year’s budget of $47.31 million included paying off the school's turf field and capital projects from the 2013 bond referendum.
Banked cap funds are not being used in this year's budget.
The Somerset County Vo-Tech, in Bridgewater, will see a 7 percent decrease in its state aid for the 2018-2019 school year, from an expected $1,543,011 to $1,428,562. This revised number is actually the same amount of aid the Vo-Tech received for the 2017-2018 school year.
For more on the WHRHS budget, see.
Additional state aid awarded to other local school districts:
Green Brook: $23,676