SEA ISLE CITY — A school budget with no increase in the tax rate and a slight decrease in the amount of taxes to be paid by the average homeowner was presented to City Council during its Tuesday meeting.
The $2.6 million 2015-16 budget, the highlights of which Board of Education President Dan Tumolo shared with council and residents, was adopted by the board at its April 16 meeting.
Although the new budget is an increase of $296,033 over the 2014-15 spending plan, the tax rate dips about a half-penny from 3.76 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 3.7 cents. The amount of taxes the owner of the average home assessed at $716,000 will pay is $265, a decrease of $11 from last year’s $276.
The amount to be raised through local taxation remains flat at $1.8 million.
The closing of its public schools in 2012 has resulted in practically a $1.5 million reduction in the school budget for Sea Isle, which sends 100 of its school-age children to Ocean City’s schools. The remaining 37 attend private schools.
Tuition to Ocean City increased by $200,000 and transportation by $55,000. The average cost per pupil is $15,500, below the state average of $19,000, Tumolo said, and far below the $35,000 per student cost the city was paying at the time it closed its school district.
Tumolo said the board had funded several initiatives at Ocean City High School, including the updating of three science labs, installation of new computers in the media center and an $11,000 lease purchase of 40 bicycles for use by the physical education classes.
The board also paid $6,800 to provide a theater workshop for second- and third-graders.
Next year, the board, in conjunction with Ocean City, will fund the salary of a mental health professional at the high school. The creation of the position grew out of parent and student response to the suicide of an OCHS senior in December 2014.
“Your board has been busy,” Council President John Divney said to Tumolo at the conclusion of his presentation.
Contact Cindy Nevitt:
@ACPress_Nevitt on Twitter