The issue is the share of the school budget that LBI pays compared to Stafford Twp.
LBI sends about 10% of students into the SRSD and pays 80% of budget
Our average cost per student is about $150K, Stafford Twp.’s average per student cost is about $4.0K. Harvey Cedars pays an astounding $254,000 per student!
Stafford uses 90% of the district’s resources and pays for only 20%. The situation is neither fair nor reasonable.
The average cost to educate a student in a NJ district is about $20.4K – that’s about 5 times the amount Stafford currently pays.
Waretown is a sending district and pays ‘tuition’ – about $17 to $18K per student
Bottom line, LBI subsidizes both Stafford Twp and Waretown students
We all understand our obligation to the students in the district. We just need a more equitable allocation of the budget – within NJ law.
Currently, there are 3 methods of distribution of the tax burden allowed by NJ law1:
On the basis of equalized valuation (current situation)
On the proportional number of pupils enrolled
A combination of these 2 methods.
The obvious solution, which in the end could be fair for all involved is to use the third bulleted method, i.e., a combination of the first and the second methods. An equitable allocation of the SRSD budget is possible. The HCTA believes Harvey Cedars can lead this campaign exactly the way it led beach replenishment.