A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Vote Is For the 2011-2012 Matawan-Aberdeen School Budget

The Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District has posted an online presentation containing its argument for the district's proposed 2011-2012 budget. The justification for funding the district at the proposed level is contained in the superintendent's statement of objectives, which I have touched up a bit: the district seeks to achieve instructional and administrative excellence in order to provide students with a well-rounded education in a safe, secure, and educationally-conducive environment.

The presentation begins by setting out what's on everyone's minds: The district must teach our children but contain the costs of doing so. The superintendent argues that we can't keep cutting school budgets, even in economic times like these. Since Trenton has deigned to restore only half a million dollars of the multiple millions of aid withheld last year, a small tax increase is required to maintain last year's levels and restore some basics that had to be cut last year. The district's proposed budget responsibly contains administrative costs well below state and regional averages, and per pupil costs are below state averages.

The proposed budget calls for a restoration of the Aberdeen Township Police Resource Officer and late buses, strong gestures towards school safety, an inexcusable gap that's existed all year to Christie's shame. In-house special education and the arts would be funded in the proposed budget, as would full-day kindergarten, quality of life programs that belong in a well-rounded education. All advanced placement classes and athletics would be preserved.

The budget presentation stresses the need for appropriate class size. If there is a problem there, it isn't due to a growing student population, which has risen a mere 3.7% in five years. More likely, last year's state aid cuts dramatically changed the teacher-student ratio. (That's a nice way of saying the schools had to shed nearly 50 teachers last year, so more students are packed into each classroom.)

As for the bottom line, if you're the average Aberdeen resident, you'll be paying about $5/mo more in school taxes. And if you live in Matawan, you're looking at a roughly $20/mo reduction in your school taxes.

I hope you'll vote in favor of this year's proposed school budget on Wednesday 27 April.


  1. Funny... according to both the town calendar and website, the election is tomorrow... I could see the printed calendar being wrong, but the website? I guess it shouldn't surprise me as on one of the boards (Planning board I think) it still shows the mayor as being Sobel.

  2. My macbook preferred this link (copied into a new window):

  3. To reassure readers, the state's 2011 school board election timeline specifies that the election is to be held on 27 April 2011.


  4. Sorry. I'm used to elections being held on Tuesday. This one is on Wednesday. At least I got the date right - April 27th.