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Freehold Borough Board of Education Defers State Aid

Additional state funding will be allocated to a future year's budget.

The Freehold Borough Board of Education agreed Monday to defer additional state aid to either the 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 budget. 

Gov. Chris Christie announced an last week.

Business Administrator Patrick DeGeorge spoke to those in attendance at Freehold Learning Center Elementary School about the benefits of deferring the aid for the future. 

"If we choose to use the aid for this school year, it's going to just end up moving revenue from column A to column B, as this lowers our tax revenue," DeGeorge said. "Long-term, we can see where we are at this school year and apply that aid accordingly to the areas most in need."

DeGeorge elaborated when board member Dr. Michael Lichardi voiced concern over the deferment.

"Unfortunately, the number reported was over $300,000, but in actuality it is $173,946. The decision is based on our projected revenue. Our shortfall is a projected $300,000. If we apply the additional state said to the next two school years, it will alleviate our reliance on the taxpayers," DeGeorge said.

The decision to defer is based upon a projected shortfall in 2012-2013, DeGeorge said.

Anti-Bullying Policies

The board of education discussed stricter anti-bullying and academic evaluation policies put together by Park Avenue Elementary School Principal Joseph Jerabek. Jerabek was not in attendance for Monday's meeting, but will be present for the board's next session to discuss his template in further detail.

All Freehold Borough schools are expected to follow Jerabeck's template and will be adjusted for each grade, according to Superintendent Elizabeth O'Connell.

"There were four incidents in the 2010-2011 school year that involved weapons," O'Connell said, when giving a brief overview of last school year's student conduct.

"There were two involving knives, a razor blade, and one incident regarding the potential sale of a BB gun. All these incidents were immediately addressed by the police and the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)," O'Connell said.

In all four incidents, the police, schools, and DYFS acted proactively, responding to the situation before the weapons could be used in a dangerous and violent manner, according to O'Connell.

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