On Behalf of the Bound Brook School District, I'm writing to you today, the taxpayers of Bound Brook, to update you on our funding issues. The fact that we are the most underfunded district in the entire State of New Jersey has not changed all that much. However, we were recently notified that we received some additional funding this year from the State of New Jersey.
The median household income in Bound Brook is $62,263. It is 10% lower than the New Jersey median household income of $69,640 and 54% lower than Somerset County median household income of $97,168.
Obviously, our district is at a significant disadvantage as we are not able to spend at least up to the adequacy level for the State of New Jersey. Districts like ours that also tax their residents above the local fair share, are in a no-win situation. The taxpayers in our districts are overburdened, and yet we still don't have the resources to fund an adequate budget.
The Board of Education recently received additional state aid in the form of equalization aid as an offset to our current underfunding issues. We were 11.3 million dollars underfunded as per the State adequacy calculation. The State of New Jersey provided 1.5 million dollars in additional equalization aid to the district. The board chose to alleviate the burden on tax payers by reducing the upcoming tax bill. The district had approved a 2% increase for this school year, the board has approved tax relief in the amount of $500,000 to reduce taxes. The average home in Bound Brook should receive about a $169.00 a year decrease in taxes. This represents almost a 4% decrease in taxes from the upcoming tax bill.
The Board of Education continues to balance the needs of the students and community with the burden of the tax levy as fairly as possible. Should the aid continue for the next budget cycle, the hope is that we can further reduce the school taxes on the tax bill for the people of Bound Brook.
Superintendent of Schools
Thank You Bound Brook Community
The Bound Brook Board of Education and Administration wants to express its appreciation to all the voters who came out to voice their opinion about the referendum through their ballot choice. We have been able to upgrade and renovate our schools to improve the educational environment for all Bound Brook students.We have one more set projects schedule for next summer that will complete the referendum!
At the end of September I will have a powerpoint slide show and letter explaining all of the improvements that we have accomplished to date, here are a few highlights:
• The purchase of both the Annex and Community School
• Complete renovation of the Community School
• New windows at all the elementary building with the high school
starting this month
• All elementary buildings through grade 8 are air conditioned
• All roofs in the district have been replaced
• The repair and painting of the LaMonte building
We thank you for your confidence that we have only the best interest of students in mind as we progress with the project. We invite residents to continue to have an active voice in the district’s operations through attending board meetings and events at all the schools.
The district has embarked on updating curricular programs and support systems to help our students achieve success. The district has adopted all new curriculum and programs for grades kindergarten through 6. We have Journeys languages arts program, Go Math program, and Science Fusion. These three programs are each integrated programs that build skills for each curricular discipline. All of these programs are aligned to the current standards and provide resources for differentiation.
At the middle school level, grades 7 and 8 have revamped their math programs to include pre algebra and algebra 1 courses. While all language arts programs have been rewritten to align with Common Core Curriculum Standards.
In addition, the district has realigned the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) process to better assist students in their academic endeavors. The district has also trained all of our teachers grades kindergarten through 6 in responsive classroom techniques.
The Board of Education has updated the district retention policy. The Board of Education supports educational programs of high academic standards. These programs shall provide maximum opportunity and challenge for each student to progress according to his/her own needs and abilities. Students shall be placed at the grade level most appropriate to their academic, social, and emotional development. The educational program shall provide for the continuous progress of students from grade to grade. To read the policy please go to our website for additional information.
The Bound Brook School District started the school year with a very positive climate of growth and hope for the future! We believe in keeping the community informed regarding our schools and hope this newsletter does just that for each of you.
Daniel Gallagher, Ed.D.Superintendent of Schools
Congratulations to Board Member Camilla Stevens for being named 2016 Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education!
BOUND BROOK SCHOOLS LEAD FREE
In reponse to Statewide concerns regarding lead levels in water supply, the Bound Brook School District conducted a comprehensive water supply analysis. It was found that there are no concerns with the water supply in the district. Please click HERE for the report and analysis.