WOOLWICH TWP. — The efforts of the Kingsway Regional High School District community members played a significant role in modifying New Jersey’s school funding laws toward equal redistribution across the state. At the Woolwich Township Committee meeting on April 15, the Committee heard that this forward progress was set to continue.
In her report on Kingsway and the Swedesboro School District, Woolwich Deputy Mayor Natalie Matthias revealed that Kingsway will receive another $1.152 million in state aid in FY20. The Kingsway community helped to get the local district an additional $2.129 million in state aid when a bill was passed last summer. Bill S2 called for all New Jersey school districts to reach 100 percent of the School Funding Reform Act through adjusted redistribution in seven years.
The district received approximately 58 percent of its state aid funding in FY19, and the tentative budget calls for 62 percent of Kingsway’s funding in FY20. “Sixty-two percent is good, but we can still be doing better,” commented Matthias. She pointed out that the tentative FY20 budget adds 10 middle school classroom teachers, a high school guidance counselor, and a position for district maintenance.
Matthias said the highlights of the extra funding for FY19 for the Kingsway district were 21.5 additional positions including 18.5 teachers, two educational support professionals, and an instructional supervisor. Before state aid was increased, Kingsway was set to receive only $10.1 million of its School Funding Reform Act entitlement of $20.2 million, or 49.8 percent.
Elsewhere, in resolutions, the Committee elevated Police Officer Lindsey Davis to Eighth Class Police Officer in the Woolwich Police Department. Also, the township committee authorized a shared service agreement between Woolwich Township and Gloucester County regarding the use of certain stage units for special events and authorized the hiring of Jeffrey Fredo within the Woolwich Department of Public Works.
In reports, Committeewoman Gina Santore praised the efforts of the Woolwich Fire Company for serving Woolwich and Swedesboro, along with turning out for other communities. “They continue to do an excellent job,” lauded Santore.
Santore also reported that 13 groups collected 99 bags of trash on a recent Clean Communities Day. She added that there had been 13 calls for missed trash collection during March. Also, Committeeman Dan Battisti said 30 zoning permits were issued last month.
Matthias mentioned in her report that Woolwich is moving forward with Locke Avenue Fun Day, scheduled for 1 to 8 p.m. on June 1 at Locke Avenue Park.
In his report, Woolwich Police Chief Richard Jaramillo mentioned that the 2019 National Night Out was scheduled for Aug. 6. “We had 23 officers on patrol last year from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and we got a lot of positive feedback on that,” Jaramillo observed. The local police held a “Coffee with a Cop” event at Old Town Bagel in Swedesboro on April 27.
In his Court report, Woolwich Mayor Vernon Marino said 1,286 court cases had been heard through March of 2019. For Finance, Marino noted that the Committee planned to introduce their 2019 municipal budget at their next meeting.
By Robert Holt