By AUBRIE GEORGE
It’s time to head to the polls, folks.
Tomorrow, set out for your local polling place to approve or deny proposed tax levies for your local and regional school district.
Open seats on both Board of Educations will also be up for votes, including three contested seats on the Medford K-8 Board of Education.
Keep in mind this year’s school board election is on a Wednesday, not a Tuesday, as has been the case in the past.
The Medford K-8 BOE is sending a $43 million general fund budget to voters that is approximately $375,000 less than last year’s budget.
This year’s tax impact to the average Medford homeowner will be approximately $126 per year, or $10.50 per month, for the average assessed home at $200,503. The proposed increase is under the 2 percent cap that tax levies are allowed to increase from year-to-year.
While originally anticipated steep cuts are off the table, the budget does include some eliminations including the loss of one secretarial position, one administrative position, one physical education teacher, and two technology positions.
The staffing impact is equal to nine teaching positions, including the elimination of four teaching positions, one administrative position, one support staff position, a minimum of three, non-tenured teachers and one tenured teacher are also being reduced, and two tenured teachers will be transferred.
The tentative budget also includes a 20 percent reduction in basic instructional support, an increase in student activity fees, and privatization of district substitutes.
Current Board members Ann Davidson, Katherine Santamore, and Debra Tarrant are set to see their seats expire, leaving three seats open for this year’s race. Davidson and Santamore have submitted their names to run as incumbents, Tarrant has not submitted her name to run. Newcomers Salvatore J. Cocivera and Amy Duca are also vying to fill two of the seats on the Board.
The Medford seat on the Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education, currently occupied by resident David Stow, is up for re-election this year as well. Stow is running, uncontested, for the seat.
The LRHSD’s $143 million proposed 2011–12 school budget brings a tax increase of 4.72 cents for Medford residents, resulting in a $94.71 increase in regional school taxes for the average assessed home at $200,827.
The budget includes the addition of 24 new faculty members in the special education department. Two new teachers, two new sign language interpreters, and 20 new aides will be added to the staff throughout the district, should the budget pass as is.
Municipal taxes will be on the ballot as well. A special referendum question will ask you if Medford Council can make an exception to the mandated 2 percent tax levy cap law and raise municipal taxes 25.44 percent over the 2010 municipal budget.
Polls are open tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Need to know where to vote? If you’re a registered voter, you can click here and enter your address.