Tuesday, April 21, 2009

6.1 Million Dollars In Funding To Toms River Schools

by Jason Allentoff

As part of the $32.3 million dollars coming to Ocean County schools in Federal Economic Stimulus Funding, the Toms River School Regional School District was presented with a check for about $6.1 million dollars during an assembly Monday morning.

The event took place at the Hooper Avenue Elementary School and brought out 3rd District Congressman John Adler. Superintendent Mike Ritacco was on hand to accept the check from Adler while students from first, third and fourth grade watched in the gymnasium.

The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to Congressman Adler, the school district is receiving the sizeable amount because "they were very progressive in their thinking - looking to keep expenses down, to work for a better enviornment with the installation of solar panels and really caring about the education and the students in the classroom."

The announcement comes a week after NJBiz announced the district as an NJBiz Green Leadership Award finalist in the category of alternative-energy use. The award recognizes businesses in the state for environmental achievements and initiatives. Adler says they will be putting the money to good use and he was very happy to be present.

Superintendent Ritacco says the district will look into what provisions are attached to the money before they make any decisions on where to spend it. He says "we're gonna think real long and hard about this funding and make sure that whatever it is spent on will benefit the children and the taxpayers." Ritacco says the money will help prevent tax increases and also prevent teacher and staff layoffs.

Other school districts in the county receiving stimulus funds include Barnegat, $900,232; Bay Head, $23,505; Beach Haven, $13,303; Berkeley, $618,197; Brick, $3,322,790; Central Regional, $652,147; Eagleswood, $38,139; Island Heights, $24,049; Jackson, $2,249,913; Lacey, $1,388,579; Lakehurst, $206,974; Lakewood, $10,709,535; Lavallette, $46,356; Little Egg Harbor, $672,986; Long Beach Island Consolidated, $68,173; Manchester, $957,560; Mantoloking, $828; Ocean County Vocational, $267,577; Ocean Gate, $74,425; Waretown, $262,087; Pinelands, $569,290; Point Pleasant Beach, $195,673; Seaside Heights, $152,400; Seaside Park, $27,640; Southern Regional, $698,014; Stafford, $764,823; and Tuckerton, $109,578.

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