Lenape Regional High School District BOE Adopts 2017/2018 Budget
Special Education Staff Added; Maintains Programs and Staff
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) Board of Education adopted a $159.1 million budget for the 2017/2018 school year, a 1.60 percent increase from the current school year.
State aid to the LRHSD remains flat at just over $29 million for the 2017/2018 school year. Since 1994/1995, state aid has continued to comprise a lower percentage of the annual budget, declining from nearly 40 percent to a record low of just 19.5 percent of next year's proposed budget.
The proposed total regional school tax levy for 2017/2018 is $118,704,203, an increase of 2.23 percent. The average increase over the past 10 years has been 1.96 percent.
Taxes will increase in seven of the eight communities served by the district, with a decrease in taxes in Medford Township:
During the budget presentation, LRHSD Board of Education member David Stow, who represents Medford Township, emphasized the board’s commitment to fiscal responsibility to the communities served by the district, while staying true to the district’s mission. The proposed budget adds no new programs or positions at its four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee and Seneca – and the Sequoia Alternative Program.
“Although the Lenape District is faced with another year of flat funding from the State of NJ, we continue to excel as one of the top regional school districts in the state with overwhelming support from our communities,” said Stow.
Board of Education President Linda Eckenhoff echoed Stow’s gratitude to the communities for their generous support.
“The Lenape Regional district, our staff and, most important, our students benefit from the generosity of the residents and businesses in the communities we serve,” said Eckenhoff. “We are thankful to everyone who has given so generously of their time, talent or treasure over the years. And although we can measure treasure, which is more than $175,000 this year alone, the donations of time and talent are priceless,” she added.
According to Superintendent of Schools, Carol Birnbohm, Ed.D., as the percentage of state aid diminishes each year for our school district, the burden to our taxpayers becomes greater. “Accepting financial support from our community has helped make it possible for us to bridge the gap to improve athletic facilities, purchase new equipment, and bolster innovative programs to benefit students at all of our schools,” said Birnbohm.
As one of the highest achieving districts in the state, innovation, creativity and achievement are integral to the Lenape Regional High School District’s success. With an average graduation rate of 96.4 percent among its four high schools, nearly 93 percent of the class of 2016 continued their education at more than 286 different four- and two-year colleges and universities.
An early participant in the College Acceleration Programs (CAP), the LRHSD encourages students to earn college credits while in high school through partnerships with Rowan College of Burlington County and Rowan University. During the 2016/2017 school year alone, 1,291 LRHSD students took CAP courses, earning nearly 9,000 college credits at no additional cost to taxpayers.
According to Birnbohm, LRHSD students’ academic success tells only part of the story. “Our staff and students are regional, state and national award winners and champions,” said Birnbohm. “They’ve won awards for Television Broadcasting, Special Education Programs, Marching Band, Robotics, Fine Arts, Community Service, and JROTC, not to mention athletics!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.