The first in a series of public Toms River schools budget workshops and presentations begins Wednesday evening.
Administrators will meet at 6:30 p.m. in Conference Room A at the district's 1144 Hooper Ave. offices to discuss the 2013-14 spending plan, which is expected to include about a 1.9 percent expenditures increase over the current $204 million budget. If needed, a continuation of the meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 28.
"[The budget] hasn't been firmly decided yet, but we will have enough detailed information to make it a meaningful session," said Business Administrator William Doering last week. "Given the tight timeline, we almost have to put out the information with a huge asterisk that says 'pending county review and approval, subject to change."
State aid figures, the effects of sequestration, and Superstorm Sandy's impact on local taxes remain unknown. Administrators have discussed the potential for tax rate changes and ways to possibly counteract the estimate of a 20 percent decrease in Toms River's ratables base.
Then on March 5, the board will hold another public budget meeting at High School North to approve the plan before it is sent to the county superintendent by March 7. Finally, the public hearing and budget vote by the board is scheduled for March 21 at High School North.
Board of Education President Ben Giovine has said the district will answer questions as best as they can before the budget is submitted to the county and the number of budget meetings before the final adoption has been increased compared to years prior.