Lenape Regional High School District BOE Adopts 2015/2016 Budget
Special Education Staff Added; Maintains Programs and Staff 

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Board of Education adopted a $154 million budget for the 2015/2016 school year, an increase of $2,120,421 (1.4 percent) more than the current school year.
 
State aid remained flat for the 2015-2016 school year – no increase or decrease. However, over the past twenty years, state support of the LRHSD has decreased from nearly 40 percent of budget in 1994/1995 to just 20 percent of the proposed 2015/2016 budget.
 
“We’re grateful there was not a reduction in state funding for our district, but as expenses increase, it remains a challenge to meet the educational needs of all of our students within a manageable budget,” said Birnbohm. “Year after year, thanks to teamwork on the part the administration, board of education, and staff and with the support of the families and communities we serve, the Lenape Regional District continues to rise to the challenge,” she added.
 
The proposed total regional school tax levy for 2015/2016 is $114,362,944, an increase of 2.23 percent. Regional school taxes will increase in six of the eight sending communities including Evesham, Medford, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle and Woodland; regional school taxes will decrease in Medford Lakes and Mount Laurel:
  • Evesham Township - Tax levy increase of 2.82 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $78.02 on a home assessed at the township average of $270,472.    

  • Medford Lakes Borough - Tax levy decrease of 1.22 cents, resulting in an decrease in regional school taxes of $35.39 on a home assessed at the borough average of $285,933.   

  • Medford Township - Tax levy increase of 3.34 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $98.50 on a home assessed at the township average of $327,915.   

  • Mt. Laurel Township - Tax levy decrease of 1.29 cents, resulting in a decrease in regional school taxes of $26.89 on a home assessed at the township average of $237,518.    

  • Shamong Township - Tax levy increase of 7.36 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $227.86 on a home assessed at the township average of $308,080.   

  • Southampton Township - Tax levy increase of .36 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $7.90 on a home assessed at the township average of $192,034.

  • Tabernacle Township - Tax levy increase of .64 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $16.52 on a home assessed at the township average of $264,057.   
  • Woodland Township - Tax levy increase of 9.69 cents, resulting in an increase in regional school taxes of $227.15 on a home assessed at the township average of $266,800.
Additional staff include 21 special education positions, comprised of eight teachers and thirteen support staff as required by incoming ninth-grade students’ Individual Education Plans (IEP). The proposed budget also provides for five additional bus drivers.
 
Among the highest achieving districts in the state, the average graduation rate among Lenape Regional High School District’s four schools continues to climb, reaching 96.4 percent for the Class of 2014, with 92 percent of graduates continuing their education in more than 273 four-year and two-year colleges and universities.

According to Birnbohm, the district continues to offer students every opportunity to get the most out of their high school experience including earning college credits through the Burlington County College (BCC) CAP (College Acceleration Program), which continues to expand, with 1,166 students participating in the program in 2014/2015.

“Our students will earn over 8,000 college credits this year alone,” said Birnbohm. “This program, offered at no additional cost to the district or taxpayers, gives students a jump on continuing education and, equally important, helps offset college costs for students and their families.”

Other LRHSD cost savings initiatives ranging from shared services agreements with the sending districts to per pupil administrative costs that are significantly lower than other regional districts. This school year, the average per student administrative cost of $1,490 is $444 below the state-mandated regional limit of $1,934 per student.

The LRHSD also benefits from fundraising efforts and generous donations from a range of community and alumni groups. In addition, the district receives corporate and foundation grant funding, which recently included grants from Lockheed Martin in the amount of $31,200 for two school years. The grants are funding the incorporation of a comprehensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program - Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - into the current course of study.

“This year, individual and community group donations reached a total of $2.45 million contributed to the district since the 2007/2008 school year,” said Birnbohm. “Our parents, alumni and community members are active in the district and integral to our students’ success. Their financial support complements their involvement, making it possible for us to provide our students and the community with improved athletic facilities, new equipment, and life-changing experiences.

Budget information, including tax impacts for each sending district, is posted on the Lenape Regional High School District website, www.lrhsd.org. For more information, contact Business Administrator, James Hager at 609-268-2000, ext. 5536 or jhager@lrhsd.org.