Regional high school taxes could increase for Evesham residents

Cherokee

Evesham Township residents could be paying a little bit more on their regional school tax bill this year.

The Lenape Regional High School District board of education unanimously approved the district’s tentative 2015–16 school year budget at last week’s meeting.

The tentative budget includes an increase of $78.02 for an Evesham Township resident with the average assessed home of $270,472. The regional school tax rate increased 2.82 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The total budget is $154,058,531, an increase of 1.4 percent from last year. Most of the budget is funded with taxpayer money, with $114,362,944 expected to come from taxpayers in the district’s eight municipalities.

Details on the tentative budget were not discussed at the meeting. The budget was passed so it could be submitted to the Burlington County superintendent’s office prior to March 20.

District officials plan to discuss the budget in full during the public hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, April 28 at the district administration building in Shamong at 7:30 p.m.

In other news:

Read Across America isn’t just for elementary school students. Earlier this March, students at Cherokee High School joined their younger peers to read a short book.

Senior Rob O’Leary talked about the school’s Read Across America program during a presentation highlighting Cherokee’s accomplishments so far this school year. Students at Cherokee High School dressed up and read with first-grade students from multiple area elementary schools.

O’Leary said the initiative goes beyond encouraging the students how to read.

“The goal is to also introduce Cherokee to the younger kids,” he said.

The board of education honored Cherokee’s championship winning football team and marching band at the meeting. The football team won its second straight South Jersey Group V championship in the fall, while the marching band won the U.S. Bands Group 5A National Championship after coming in second place the previous four years.

A pair of late winter snow days on March 5 and 6 are having an impact on the school calendar.

Superintendent Carol Birnbohm said graduation in the district has been shifted to June 18 because the school calendar has been extended to make up for the snow days the district has had this year.

“We’ve had a total of four snow days so far this year,” Birnbohm said.

The snow days are also having an effect on the board of education’s meeting schedule. The meeting scheduled for June 17 has been moved back one week to Wednesday, June 24, to allow the meeting to take place after the end of the school year.

In what has become a spring tradition, schools in the Lenape District have begun their fourth annual Give to Goodwill drive for 2015.

Students, faculty and staff at all four high schools are encouraged to donate gently-used clothing, accessories, toys, books and other small household items and place them into a donation bin located in each school’s parking lot. Since 2012, the district has collected 109,387 pounds of donations.

Through the drive’s first two weeks, Cherokee High School jumped out to an early lead, having contributed 0.84 pounds of donations per student. Cherokee has won all three of the past Give to Goodwill drives. The competition runs through April 17.