Lenape Regional District BOE Adopts 2013/2014 Budget
On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Board of Education adopted a $150 million budget for the 2013/2014 school year, which represents a 1.79 percent increase over the current year. The total regional school tax levy is $110 million, an increase of 3.39 percent.
Regional school taxes will decrease in four of the LRHSD's eight sending districts, Evesham, Shamong, Southampton, and Woodland. School taxes will increase in Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel and Tabernacle.
According to Superintendent of Schools Carol Birnbohm, Ed.D., despite no increase in state aid, the proposed budget maintains programs and activities that support the district's mission to help "develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an ever-changing world."
"In order to fulfill our mission to meet the needs of all students, we will add 13 new special education staff district wide, including teachers, paraprofessionals and interpreters, mandated by federal and state education laws," said Birnbohm. In addition to the mandated in-district positions, an extra $1.2 million is required for out-of-district special education placements. The additional funds are required for tuition rate raises, as well as an increase in the number of students. The total increase for special education spending in 2013-2014 is $2.1 million.
No other positions and/or programs have been added to the spending plan.
In addition to higher special education costs, health benefits costs will increase 8 percent in the 2013/2014 school year.
Among the highest achieving districts in the state with a 95.3 percent graduation rate, the Lenape Regional District offers a diverse program of studies ranging from 18 honors and AP courses to highly acclaimed in-district programs and services for students with special needs.
The district consistently maintains class sizes larger than the state average and an administrator to student ratio well below the state average. Birnbohm added the Lenape Regional District continues to participate in cost-saving shared services programs with sending districts and municipalities, without sacrificing quality, safety or security district wide. In the 2013-2014 spending plan, administrative costs are $2.7 million below the NJDOE regional limit.
"We welcome opportunities to build partnerships within the community and throughout the state," said Birnbohm. "In addition to shared services, we are grateful for generous donations from individuals and community groups to help support athletic and academic programs." Since the 2007/2008 school year, the district has received additional funding totaling nearly $2 million for driving simulators, turf stadium fields, baseball field renovation and the district's award-winning robotics teams.
Budget information, including tax impacts for each sending district, can be found by clicking the links on the left. For more information, contact Business Administrator, James Hager at 609-268-2000, ext. 5536 or firstname.lastname@example.org