The Board of Education approved a $131,176,099 school budget Thursday after just one resident talked about the plan.
The 2012-13 spending plan calls for $110,437,402 to be raised by taxes and carries a tax rate increase of 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Under that rate, the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $100,000 can expect to pay an additional $100 in school taxes next year.
Once it was approved by the school board Thursday, the document became the official budget for the 2012-13 school year. In February, the school board voted to move school elections to the General Election in November. Under the new rules, school budgets would go to voters only if the district requests a spending increase of more than 2 percent. This year’s proposal increases.
During the public hearing,, Constance Lonczak was the lone resident who spoke about the budget.
During a presentation at the East Brunswick Performing Arts Center on March 22, Business Administrator Bernardo Giuliana said the district has had to struggle to keep the general fund stable despite sharply decreases instate aid.
According to his presentation, the General Fund was $133,712,201 in 2008-09; $132,828,114 in 2009-10; $127,169,614 in 2010-11; and $128,729,810 for the current year.
Over the same time, state aid has steadily dropped, and despite increases over the last two years, aid levels to the district are still below where they were in the 2008-09 school year. In that year, the district received $20,0878,014 in state aid; in 2009-10 it received $15,527,825; in 2010-11 it received $13,817,220; in 2011-12 it received $15,145,501; for the current year it received $16,473, 782 and for the upcoming year it expects to receive $17,678,170.
On the revenue side for the upcoming school year, district expects to raise $110,437,402 through taxes; to receive $17,678,170 in state aid; to use $1,977,074 from fund balance; $500,000 in extraordinary aid; $207,525 in fees; $80,000 in tuition; and $144,000 in other revenue for a total estimated revenue of $131,176,099.
On the expense side, the district expects to pay $835,210 in fees; $1,873,008 for charter schools; $2,514,061 for professional services, including instructional, medical, nursing, speech/OPT, auditing/legal, network and environmental; $2,804,754 on short term debt and equipment; $3,198,109 on gas and electric utilities; $3,298,418 on supplies, materials, textbooks and vehicle fuel; $3,927,352 on special education tuition; $4,626,192 for facility repair and cleaning; $8,519,870 on purchases services such as transportation, insurance, communications and maintenance; and $99,579,125 for salaries and benefits for $131,176,099 in total estimated expenses.
The estimated revenue and estimated expenses calls for a shortfall of $1,947,281.