Regardless of where you live your property taxes are likely pretty high so the last thing you want is anything that raises them even more. For that reason school referendums in recent years have had a difficult time garnering the public’s support.

Throw in the current 2% cap on budgets and it’s a challenge to make needed repairs, never mind capital improvements which are often put off for years. Drive around and you will see many schools desperately needing attention to the point where they are falling apart but the money is simply not available.

An example of deteriorating facilities in the Pineland Regional School District(Pineland Regional School District)

Eventually you need to seek the support of the public and that’s what the Pinelands Regional School District is doing next Tuesday, January 24.

They are asking voters to approve a $53.5 million referendum which is broken down into three questions with each presenting a solution to what they call “urgent facility problems facing the district.”  From all indications a large cross section of school personnel and professionals have worked diligently to present the most cost-effective referendum possible which should be more acceptable to the public because the state will pick up 40% of the total cost which reduces the tax burden.

The overwhelming majority of the project falls under question #1 which calls for critical exterior system replacements like brick structure and roofing at both the high school and middle school.  In addition there will be inside work like HVAC replacement as well as electrical, security and communication upgrades.  That part of the referendum represents nearly 90% of the total cost with the other questions dealing with new secured, all-weather entrances at both schools, renovations to the library, a new grass field at the stadium with better drainage and other items.

The Pinelands Regional School District has gone out of their way to provide information to the voting public so they can make informed decisions.  Detailed information is available at pinelandsregional.org.  Our schools are our future and say a lot about the communities we live in.  Those that live in the Pinelands district should cast votes in favor of this referendum.