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On October 2, 2018, Mount Laurel residents voted to consider a $35.5 million bond referendum that would make renovations in all eight school buildings. In addition, space would be reconfigured in two schools and additions added in two more to make space for a full-day kindergarten program. The proposal aims to better serve the educational needs of students, improve safety and security and provide cost-saving efficiencies in operation.
 

 

If you have questions regarding the Referendum Question after reviewing the Fact Sheet, please let us know by using the form below. so we might share information with others who have the same questions.

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Questions & Answers:
Q: How can it be possible that taxes would go down if we pass a $35.5 million bond proposal?
A: In order to avoid the "peaks and valleys" of tax increase, we have always attempted to hold off on larger capital projects until the right time.
This is the right time for two reasons:
1. We are paying off our previous capital debt next year.
2. At this moment, there is state aid available for eligible improvement projects.
The end result is that the taxes Mount Laurel property owners are paying today will be reduced by approximately $50 per year for the average homeowner if the referendum is successful.
All Mount Laurel Schools will benefit through major energy-saving upgrades in HVAC systems, LED lighting, upgrades to security systems, replacement of fire alarms and more. The complete list of projects by school can be found here.
 
Suggestion:  Listed in the Referendum Proposal is an item for replacing electrical outlets with tamper-proof outlets. One caller suggested that we instead "teach students not to stick their fingers in the outlets".
Response:  Of course, that is not the reason we are replacing the outlets. Just as they do in your home, some electrical outlets fail over time. When we replace electrical outlets in the schools now, we must comply with new regulations that require all outlets to be tamper-proof for safety reasons.
 
Question:
"I agree with full-day kindergarten, but do we need all of these other improvements now?" and/or "I know that our schools need upgrades, but I don't agree with a full-day kindergarten program." "Why are all of these joined in one referendum question?"
Answer:
As we have stated, in order to avoid the "peaks and valleys" of local school tax increase, we have attempted to delay larger capital projects until the right time. Next year, we are paying off our previous capital debt, and right now, there is state aid available for eligible improvement projects. This convergence of positive factors is a rare occurrence that will allow us to improve both educational program and facilities while reducing, rather than raising, the taxes homeowners are paying.

Neither of these advantages may be available to us if the state passes pending legislation to mandate a full-day kindergarten program in all districts, or if one or more of our HVAC systems has to be replaced on an emergency basis. Costs in those instances will be greatly increased.

Question:
If we are converting all of our interior lighting to LED bulbs, what will happen to the existing lighting?
Answer:
All of the bulbs currently in use in our schools will be properly recycled as part of the contract with the supplier of the LED bulbs.