REMEMBER TO VOTE! MONROE TOWNSHIP REFERENDUM - MARCH 12 2019
Not sure what the issues are? Need more information? The League of Women Voters of Monroe has researched this issue, and while we can’t tell you how to vote we have compiled all the facts, pro and con. Read more before you make your decision and then remember to VOTE on March 12.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS URGES ALL TO VOTE ON UPCOMING SCHOOL REFERENDUM
On March 12, Monroe Township residents will again be asked to cast their vote on a referendum in which the school district seeks authorization to raise funds via the sale of bonds to finance building a new middle school. In addition, the new referendum will include a second option- also expanding the current high school. The referendum’s two questions or options will be: (1) build a new middle school at a cost of $75.6 million dollars; or (2) build a new middle school and expand the high school at a projected cost of $146.1 million.
The proposal to build is driven by the fact that currently enrollment in both school buildings exceeds their functional capacity. According to data provided by the District, the current middle school is constructed to serve 1100 students. Current middle school enrollment, however, is 1710. To date, the “overage” has been handled by repurposing existing space and utilizing 10 leased trailers. It is expected that by 2021 enrollment will exceed 2000 leading to the need to lease more trailers. The high school, built to house 1800, now has an enrollment of 2400. It is expected that the high school may also need to begin to lease trailers for classroom space in the near future. In the next 5 to 10 years, high school enrollment is projected to reach 3000. In a December 2018 letter to parents, Acting Superintendent Robert Goodall warned that “the current overcrowding is creating an environment of unproductive class sizes in core academic courses”.
We encourage you to educate yourself about the proposed projects. Financial data, site plans, and architectural plans are available on the school districts referendum website http://referendum.monroe.k12.nj.us.
The anticipated tax impact on Township property owners for building only the new middle school is $48.81 per $100,000 of assessed value; and $92.76 per $100,000 of assessed value if the new middle school is built and the high school expanded. Consult the referendum website to calculate the tax impact on your property.
The 2018 referendum to fund building the middle school at a projected cost of $68 million was rejected by voters in 2018. Clearly, however, the problem of overcrowding in Monroe’s schools remains. Higher building costs and rising interest rates are driving up the costs of potential solutions. The anticipated costs of building a new middle school is now 7 million higher than projected in 2018—a costly delay.
Voter turnout for the 2018 referendum was very low. We must question whether the results truly reflected the will of the majority of township residents. Voting is both a right and a responsibility of citizenship. On Election Day, Tuesday, March 12 exercise your right to let your voice be heard. VOTE.