Dozens Of Jobs Cut In Budget

Photo courtesy Toms River Regional School District

  TOMS RIVER – The budget that was voted on Tuesday night includes cuts of 77 positions in the 2019-2020 school year, set against the backdrop of the district losing millions in state aid over the next few years.

  Business administrator William Doering confirmed that they are removing 58 teaching jobs, 12 secretarial positions, six facilities jobs and one administrative position. However, only 31 of these employees are being cut. The rest are leaving due to retirements.

  In addition to these full time jobs, the district will also be cutting 55 assistant coaching positions and 10 percent from accounts for supplies and textbooks, Doering confirmed.

  These cuts are in reaction to legislation that has changed the way state aid is given to schools. The law, S-2, will cut approximately $83 million in state aid over the next six years to Toms River, including $2.8 million in the 2019-2020 budget. Senate President Steve Sweeney has said that districts like Toms River were overfunded, and with declining enrollment, they don’t need as much aid. Other districts that were considered underfunded received more aid.

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  Large groups of students, faculty, and supporters have rallied in Trenton, first for the State Assembly Budget Committee hearing and most recently for the Senate Budget Committee Hearing.

  They have been stating that the funding formula has been flawed for years, and this most recent change is just furthering the flaws. They demand a joint legislative committee to be immediately convened, with an aggressive timeline, to fix it.

  The total 2019-2020 budget would be $242,260,946, a reduction of $852,674 from the current year’s budget of $243,113,620. Taxpayers would be responsible for $164,516,502 of this, an increase of $3,208,458 from this year’s $161,308,044.

Photo courtesy Toms River Regional School District

  The budget would have the following effects on each town in the district:

  • Toms River: The tax rate would be $1.16 per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase of 2.11 cents. For the average home, assessed at $273,900, the homeowner’s taxes would increase by $57.82 per year, from $3,136.68 to $3,194.50.
  • South Toms River: The tax rate would be 97 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase of 1.75 cents. For the average home, assessed at $165,851, the homeowner’s taxes would increase by $28.99 per year, from $1,585.71 to $1,614.70.
  • Beachwood: The tax rate would be $1.06 per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase of 1.48 cents. For the average home, assessed at $204,100, the homeowner’s taxes would increase by $30.18 per year, from $2,136.10 to $2,166.28.
  • Pine Beach: The tax rate would be $1.10 per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase of 1.49 cents. For the average home, assessed at $269,400, the homeowner’s taxes would increase by $40.07 per year, from $2,939.07 to $2,979.14.