TOMS RIVER – A last minute increase in state aid will restore the Toms River School District to the aid levels before a cut of approximately $3.3 million.
Initially, Toms River was slated to lose $3.3 million in aid. In response, the district held a press conference, and planned to rally in Trenton but they were denied a permit to park buses there. Instead, district officials and lawmakers met with other officials in Trenton. After much lobbying, the $3.3 million cut was brought down to a $1.4 million cut.
The district made plans to take the money out of its fund balance, instead of affecting any staff or programs. According to officials, this would have brought the balance below 2 percent of its overall budget. This makes it difficult to handle any emergencies and works against future budgets.
“It’s difficult for me to overstate just how much time, effort, dedication, and resolve went into the process of restoring this funding for our taxpayers and, most important of all, our children,” Healy said in a press release. “I have to commend our business administrator, Mr. Doering, for his unparalleled expertise and countless hours in compiling volumes of support documentation, and of course Board of Education President Ben Giovine and the entire board for their backing and confidence in our leadership team.
Senators James Holzapfel and Greg McGuckin and Assemblyman David Wolfe (all R-10th), and 10th District staff member Glen Feldman, were praised for going to bat for the district.
The school aid budgets followed school enrollment figures, and the declining aid was done to match declining enrollment, an official stated when the changes were made months ago.
Toms River had 17,169 students in the 2008-2009 school year. They were down to 15,620 in 2016-2017. This is a reduction of 9 percent.