Referendum - Montville Township Public Schools

Video: Funding Plan - In About a Minute


Caretakers of the Schools - A Community Resource

As caretakers of the valuable assets that are Montville Township Public Schools, the Board of Education regularly evaluates building needs. It also prioritizes student needs and academic preparedness. It balances those needs with financial responsibility by planning projects over time, and by seeking funding sources outside the local tax base. A bond referendum is a tool that meets both goals.

Bringing State Funds Back to the Community

By bringing state funds back to our community, local taxes would not pay all the costs of proposed improvements. If voters approve the referendum, the state has already committed $9.5 million toward project costs. All residents contribute to that funding, and only a voter-approved referendum can bring those funds back to the community.

  • If voters reject the bond referendum, necessary projects would be funded within the regular budget with local taxes covering 100% of the costs.

The Board unanimously decided August 22 to place these questions on the ballot:

Funding Plan. Q1 Total Cost: $53,002,289. Future Local Taxes 80.7%, State aid with bond funding 6.9%, Past local taxes (Capital Reserve) 12.4%. Q2 Total Cost: $16,980,314. 66% Future  local taxes, 34% State aid with bond funding.

Question 1 must pass for Question 2 to pass. If voters reject Question 1 but approve Question 2, neither proposal would pass.

Question 1 (Projects total $53,002,289):

The first ballot question focuses on additional space to serve enrollment that has already risen beyond the capacity for which our schools were designed. In addition to current student numbers, the ways we use instructional space have changed and the forecast indicates more students will be born in or move into our community. Question 1 addresses that by proposing new construction of 23 classrooms. It also proposes dividing 14 classrooms to make 28 rooms that are right-sized for small group instruction. For Hilldale, William Mason and Woodmont, Question 1 proposes new construction of flexible, large-group instructional areas. Also included are parking areas at William Mason and Woodmont. For details, see the Projects page.

For the Question 1 additions/renovations totaling $53,002,289:

  • Of that, $6,575,000 would come from the district’s Capital Reserve fund – a sort of savings account.

  • Of that, $3,671,775 would come from state aid – available only with voter approval.

Question 2 (Projects total $16,980,314):

The second ballot question would strengthen our schools with stepped-up security by adding two-stage entrances at the five buildings that don’t have them now. Robert R. Lazar Middle School already has an entrance like this, and one at Cedar Hill Elementary School is planned for completion in spring 2024. It also would make our schools more efficient with modernized HVAC systems. For details, see the Projects page. The state has committed $5,773,307 for these projects. For a home with the average assessment in Montville Township, these improvements would cost about $84.05 a year.

For the Question 2 upgrades/replacements totaling $16,980,314:

  • Of that, $5,773,307 would come from state aid – available only with voter approval.

Costs Over Time

By spreading costs over time, taxpayers who move into the district pay their share and those who move away stop contributing. The bond payback is proposed for 25 years to reduce the amount paid annually.

The proposal will be listed on the Dec. 12 ballot in two questions: one to address space needs and one to address security and HVAC upgrades.

Financial projections put the local tax costs at an average of $410 per year for both proposals: $326 for the Question 1 projects and $84 for the Question 2 projects. Those estimates are based on a home assessed at $533,572, which is the mathematical average in Montville Township. A home’s assessed value, which is usually lower than its market value, is used to determine a homeowner’s tax bill. A home’s market value, on the other hand, refers to how much it could sell for in today’s real estate market. 

Using Savings to Keep Taxes Down

The funding plan also pulls from a “savings account.” School districts can hold funds in Capital Reserve, which is like a dedicated savings account. Unlike day-to-day operating funds, Capital Reserve is specifically restricted to larger-scale projects with longer-term benefits. The MTPS Board of Education would commit some of that reserve toward the costs of projects in the referendum proposal.

  • Local taxes that have already been collected into Capital Reserve would act as a $6.6 million “down payment” toward the costs of Question 1 improvements. 


Proposed improvements are estimated to cost $70 million. Two pieces of the funding plan will reduce the amount that would be paid by local taxes in the future:

  1. $9.5 million in state aid, and

  2. $6.6 million from the district’s Capital Reserve.

After those reductions, payoff of the bonds would cost an average of $326 for the Question 1 projects and $84 for the Question 2 projects. It would start with the 2024-25 school year. That amount is based on:

  • a pay-off term of 25 years

  • an interest rate estimated at 4.1%

  • a home assessed at $533,572, which is the mathematical average in Montville Township

More Information

Click on the buttons below to learn more about the December 12 bond referendum


If you have questions, please see the Referendum FAQs section of the website. You are also encouraged to email if you have additional questions. Thank you.