PHOTO: On Wednesday, December 5, The RBR Board of Education will hold a presentation on the upcoming December 11 Referendum to improve and enhance RBR’s educational and athletic facilities. The presentation will take place at the High School at 7 pm.
LITTLE SILVER, NJ - On Wednesday, December 5, The Red Bank Regional (RBR) Board of Education will make a comprehensive presentation on the upcoming December 11, bond referendum to improve and enhance their educational and athletic facilities. The presentation will take place at the high school at 7:00 pm. RBR is located at 101 Ridge Road in Little Silver. All residents of the sending school districts of Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury are encouraged to attend as they will be asked to vote on the referendum.
The referendum is necessary to address several needs including:
- To Meet Growing Enrollment
RBR’s increased enrollment is now causing space shortages with many more students coming from lower grades. Industry standards designate RBR’s capacity at 1,043. Our enrollment for 2018 was 1,217. Demographics studies expect that to increase to 1,395 in four years.
- To Improve RBR’s Facilities for Academic and Athletic Programs
The proposals in this referendum seek to make RBR’s facilities ready for 21st century needs. The high schools’ students, staff, and programs are housed in a facility that is nearly 50 years old. No major change in the footprint has occurred since the building was opened in 1975. Modern learning spaces will inspire students and better support programs. Additionally, a community driven strategic plan identified what the taxpayers and the public wanted from the school in both educational and athletic facilities. This includes a turf field, concession stands and bathroom facilities, all to bring the high school’s athletic facilities up to par with other school districts, which should also reduce maintenance costs and minimize weather-related cancellations.
- To ensure the Continuation of Tuition Revenue
RBR is in a unique position of having an alternate source of revenue through its award-winning and renowned tuition academy programs which minimize the cost to taxpayers. Current space limitations through increased sending school enrollment have caused the school to turn back many tuition students. The recent loss of revenue has already been significant. RBR took in $4 million in tuition four years ago. Last year that amount dropped to $2.8 million. By comparison, total state aid is approximately $1.2 million.
- To Provide Necessary Maintenance of Physical Plant
The high school roof is approaching the end of its service life. Its replacement is approximately $6.1 million. A project this large cannot be paid for within the regular budget.
RBR Board Member Frank Neary states, “While no one wants their taxes increased, taxpayers should understand the unique contribution our tuition program makes to our funding and why it is critical to the referendum decisions. With increasing enrollment from the sending districts, RBR has less space available to admit qualified tuition students. The fewer the tuition students, the less revenue is generated for the budget. With less revenue from tuition, more of the total budget costs get passed on to the taxpayer. The tuition revenue in 2017-18 was already $1.2M less than it was just 4 years ago and all of that cost is now picked up by the taxpayers. Moving forward, as the tuition revenue continues to decrease, RBR will be forced to increase taxes, cut programs, or both. Adding space through the referendum will allow for in-district and tuition students to continue to attend and contribute to the RBR community, the successes as well as the costs.”