Holmdel school budget funds full-day kindergarten, new technology

HOLMDEL – The Holmdel Township School District Board of Education has voted to adopt a $67.44 million budget for the 2019-20 school year.

Holmdel’s residential and commercial property owners will pay $58.58 million in local taxes to support the operation of the school district in the upcoming year. The district will receive $2.85 million in state aid for 2019-20, which represents a $350,000 increase from the $2.5 million in state aid the district received in 2018-19.

During a meeting on May 1, board President Victoria Flynn, board Vice President Eileen Briamonte and board members Lori Ammirati, Jamie Collins, Brian Foster, Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu, Peter Reddy, Michael Sockol and Terrence Wall voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

The district’s 2018-19 budget totaled $64.29 million and was supported by a $57.5 million tax levy.

Holmdel’s school tax rate for 2018-19 was 1.348 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $667,458 paid about $8,996 in K-8 school taxes.

Holmdel’s school tax rate for 2019-20 will be 1.368 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $676,993 will pay about $9,259 in K-8 school taxes, an increase of $263.

The amount an individual pays in taxes is determined by the assessed value of his/her home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

According to district administrators, the 2019-20 budget includes:

  • Implementation of a full-day Kindergarten program.
  • A new partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care to address student mental health concerns.
  • Enhancements to the district’s Technology infrastructure and its evolving 1:1 Initiative.
  • A suite of eight new courses, including middle school electives in biotechnology, forensics and creative media that are part of a new schedule for students in grades 7 and 8.

“As superintendents across the state are looking at cutting programs and personnel, I’m thrilled to be recommending a budget that I believe will have a very positive effect upon the children of our community this next year and for years to come,” Superintendent of Schools Robert McGarry said. “Implementing something like full-day kindergarten within our annual budget only comes from effective long-range financial planning,” he said.

According to budget documents, the cost of employee benefits will increase from $12.5 million to $13.18 million and instruction will increase from $17.37 million to $17.95 million.

“With the support of the Board of Education, Dr. McGarry and I have been planning for this moment since he became superintendent almost three years ago,” Business Administrator Michael Petrizzo said.

District administrators said the district’s staff will increase from 452 to 456 full-time employees for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Holmdel, which educates children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, projects an enrollment of 3,099 students in October of this year. The district had 2,986 students enrolled in October 2018.

The district consists of the Village School, the Indian Hill School, the W.R. Satz Middle School and Holmdel High School.