LOCH ARBOUR: Village residents have voted and made their opinion loud and clear on whether or not they want their students to remain a part of the Ocean Township School District.
A special election was held on April 4 in Loch Arbour to decide if an independent school system would be formed and the vote passed 93-4. This unofficial total includes mail-in ballots but not provisional ballots, however, there will not be enough provisional ballots submitted to change the outcome.
The Township of Ocean and the Village of Loch Arbour have been one consolidated school district for over 50 years, but a 2015 petition was created based on what Loch Arbour feels is an unfair amount of school taxes. The average assessed value of a home in Loch Arbour, a beachfront community, is over $1,000,000 and the village's tax levy is about $2 million. Currently, 14 Loch Arbour students attend the Ocean Township School District for a total of about $143,000 per student.
Ocean Township school officials have said that losing Loch Arbour would be large dent in the school district's budget, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt to appeal New Jersey's Commissioner of Education Kimberly Harrington's decision to allow the special election.
It is possible that Loch Arbour students could end up attending the West Long Branch School District, but no final decision has been made at this time.