Advocating for our Students

What is happening?

The State of New Jersey has adopted a plan to reduce the district’s state funding by 50% over several years. In essence, Senate Bill 2 (S2) reflects the state’s belief that the taxpayers of the Freehold Regional High School District are undertaxed by nearly $20 million, and that the state will no longer subsidize communities who are not paying their “Local Fair Share” – an arbitrary calculation that we will continue to challenge. Even if tax levy increases were maximized under the state imposed cap, S2 will generate annual budget deficits that will require meaningful cuts to the programs and services that have distinguished this district in the State of New Jersey.

The impact of a revenue loss of this magnitude cannot be overstated. Over the next several years, programs and services in the areas of student supports, academic offerings, athletic and extracurricular opportunities, bussing, as well as progress towards targeted refinements outlined in our strategic plan, will all be markedly diminished.

Read Superintendent Sampson's letter to the community regarding this issue

Dear Freehold Regional High School District Community,

The State of New Jersey has adopted a plan to reduce the district’s state funding by 50% over several years. In essence, Senate Bill 2 (S2) reflects the state’s belief that the taxpayers of the Freehold Regional High School District are undertaxed by nearly $20 million, and that the state will no longer subsidize communities who are not paying their “Local Fair Share” – an arbitrary calculation that we will continue to challenge. Even if tax levy increases were maximized under the state imposed cap, S2 will generate annual budget deficits that will require meaningful cuts to the programs and services that have distinguished this district in the State of New Jersey.

The impact of a revenue loss of this magnitude cannot be overstated. Over the next several years, programs and services in the areas of student supports, academic offerings, athletic and extracurricular opportunities, bussing, as well as progress towards targeted refinements outlined in our strategic plan, will all be markedly diminished. Importantly, the Freehold Regional High School District has served as a model of efficiency for years with per-pupil costs thousands of dollars below the state average, all while our students have benefited from an exceptional educational experience. I want to assure you that we are advocating for this community in every way possible. We have joined several other school districts in a lawsuit against the Department of Education in regards to this matter and continuously petition our elected officials to stress the consequences of this reduction in aid. The intent to fund school districts that had been underfunded over the past decade should not come at the expense of other students.

I urge you to contact our local elected officials and press them to change the school funding plan outlined in S2 (we have included their names and addresses following this letter). We will continue to keep you updated about this situation as it progresses.

Sincerely,


Charles B. Sampson

Superintendent of Schools

Presentation to the Board of Education

See Mr. Sampson's comments to press outlets regarding this issue.

What are we doing to advocate for our students?

The Freehold Regional High District has joined an alliance of school districts, municipalities and tax payers to actively oppose the devastating financial impact caused by the reduction of state aid resulting from S2.

One avenue we have pursued is joining a lawsuit with several school districts who are also facing devastating cuts as a result of this legislation. If fully enacted, the reduction in state aid will result in a catastrophic effect on educational programming for students. It is our fervent hope to avoid such a disastrous outcome. We are represented in this action by the Weiner Law Group, LLP.

In addition to the legal action, we have joined the Support Our Students Advocacy Group - a statewide coalition currently representing 71 school districts and 117,000 students. The mission statement of Support Our Students is as follows:

"The Support Our Students (SOS) coalition of school districts throughout the state being negatively impacted by the reduction in state adjustment aid shall advocate with our legislators, and convey our message to the public to ensure that all students continue to receive the quality education that they deserve and are entitled to in accordance with the state’s mandate for a thorough and efficient education.

Our effort shall be sustained and inclusive of all stakeholders focusing on outcomes that result in educational services and programming being maintained for our school communities while seeking fiscally responsible solutions."

What can residents do?

Advocate for our children by contacting our legislators and explain how these cuts will impact our children. Click on your town to see a list of your state legislators.

Colts Neck Englishtown Farmingdale Freehold Borough Freehold Township Howell Manalapan Marlboro