RED BANK: DISTRICT GETS FUNDING BOOST

Jobs and after-school programs that were cut this spring are being restored, said Superintendent Jared Rumage, seen at left with board president Fred Stone before a lobbying trip to Trenton in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school officials have been busy in recent days restoring jobs, programs and contracts eliminated just four months ago.

Under Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget, the borough’s 1,422-student pre-K-8 district saw a 55-percent jump in state aid, which board members said Tuesday night was a cause for both celebration and frustration.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX HIKE, JOB CUTS LOOM

Jobs and after-school programs are on the cutting block unless the state comes through with an additional $750,000, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The average Red Bank homeowner would pay about $117 more in taxes to support borough schools this year if New Jersey legislators don’t come through with more funding, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

Even with the levy increase, the local primary and middle schools could see cuts in staffing and extracurricular programs such as jazz band and the fledgling cross-country track team, he said.

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RED BANK: CHARTER AID BOOST SLAMMED

District officials say they may have to eliminate a new cross-country program in order to balance the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school board members and parents reacted with outrage Monday night to an effective reduction in state aid under funding announced by the administration of Governor Phil Murphy last week.

Though nominally a $178,503 increase for the district, more than that sum is to be relayed to the Red Bank Charter School, Superintendent Jared Rumage said at a board meeting at the primary school.

With the district seeing an effective decline in aid while state funding to the charter school’s rises $1,025 per student, “I think the time has come to have the discussion about running two public schools in Red Bank,” Rumage told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: EXTRA CASH FUNDS TEACHER HIRES

An increase in state aid enabled the district to add two teachers Tuesday night, with more coming, says the superintendent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Board of Education approved the hiring Tuesday of two teachers whose jobs were made possible by an increase of $512,682 in additional state aid.

Up to six more teachers and instructional aides are expected to be added to the district’s payroll for the coming school year under what Superintendent Jared Rumage called a “gigantic” cash infusion from Trenton into the still-underfunded district.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX TO RISE 3.26 PERCENT

Facilities are growing tighter as enrollment rises, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank Board of Education approved a $22 million budget that would raise the local school portion of property tax bills by 3.26 percent Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: BOE MEMBER SLAMS TAX NOTICE

rb schools 081115Board of ed member Sue Viscomi, left, criticized the borough’s handling of the tax adjustment notice. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesAfter an adjustment by borough officials that nearly doubled an expected increase in the local school tax last month, a member of the Red Bank Board of Education fired back Tuesday night.

Sue Viscomi, who heads the board’s finance committee, said borough taxpayers may have been misled into believing the board approved a 12.74-percent spike in the local school portion of the tax, when in fact it adopted a budget reflecting a 6.95-percent increase in April.

“I personally think it’s irresponsible, what the town did with our tax bill,” she said at a board workshop meeting Tuesday night at the middle school. “We did not vote for a 12-percent increase.”

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS SOAR ON ADJUSTMENT

rb tax 080115 2Though the Red Bank board of ed adopted a budget with a 6.95-percent tax increase, a recalculation based on new data boosted that to 12.7 percent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA drop in aggregate Red Bank property values as a result of appeals has sent the local school tax soaring, redbankgreen has learned.

Borough homeowners and other property owners found out about the 12.74-percent spike in the local school portion of the tax when they received their bills late last week, more than three months after the board of education adopted a budget indicating a 6.95-percent increase.

Included with the bills, and posted on the borough website,, was a “message to Red Bank taxpayers” that did not explain why the increase was so much higher than previously reported.

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