BOE Adopts $136M Budget; Calls for $58 Tax Increase

Budget restores funding for educational programs, extracurricular activities

The Brick Board of Education adopted a $136 million school budget supported by a $96.5 million tax levy at a meeting on Tuesday evening.

The spending plan calls for a $58.55 tax increase for a resident whose home is valued at $330,000, the township’s average, according to Business Administrator James Edwards. Overall, the budget will result in a net tax increase of 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed real estate valuation.

The budget calls for the reduction of 12 teaching positions and one teacher’s aide position, but adds numerous sports and extracurricular activities. The reduction in teaching jobs is due to a projected drop in enrollment, officials said.

“I believe the budget I am presenting tonight continues to provide our children with what they need to succeed while staying within the 2 percent cap,” said Hrycennko, referring to the state’s new 2 percent cap on tax levy increases.

Extracurriculars, Sports Added to Budget

The proposed 2011-12 budget includes a number of educational and extracurricular additions over the 2010-11 budget, including restoring middle school sports programs and adding advanced courses in Spanish, French and history to both high schools.

Additionally, the budget calls for the purchase of projectors, desktop computers for middle school classrooms and Apple iPads.

Also, thanks to last-minute discussions initiated by board members John Talty and Robert Merola, the board decided to restore funding for strength and conditioning coaches for both high school weight rooms, as well as junior varsity volleyball and boys and girls tennis teams at both high schools.

Additionally, the spending plan includes funding for an extra hour of ice time each week for the two high school hockey teams for practice. Practice for both teams was cut to one hour per week under the 2010-11 budget.

The budget also restores funding for chess, the multicultural club and dance team at both township high schools.

Combined, all of the programs restored at the March 29 adoption meeting – not including middle school sports programs, which were added at a previous meeting – add up to $92,101.

That figure leaves $912,732 to be put toward capital projects, Edwards said, which translates into about $1.5 million in buying power thanks to state grants.

Next Steps

The tax levy to support the budget will now go to the voters, who will have the decision on whether to approve or defeat the proposal at the April 27 school elections.

If the ballot measure is approved, the tax levy stands as proposed.

If the measure is defeated, it goes to the township council for a review, after which the municipal governing body can vote to affirm the tax levy as proposed or cut a portion from it. While the council can suggest areas where programs can be trimmed after a cut, the Board of Education has the ultimate say on how to apply cuts to the tax levy in their final budget.

Alternatively, the board can appeal the council’s decision to the Commissioner of Education.

localexpert April 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM
ny ADM,live out of town VOTE NO..
JB April 02, 2011 at 05:30 PM
83% for salaries results in teaching for the kids. You want quality teachers you have to pay for it. Brick teachers are not highly paid (nor are the adimistrators). I'd rather see paying respectable salaries and have good teachers in my kids classrooms. We have to make sure the administrators are doing their jobs and holding the teachers accountable who are not doing a good job. And of course parents must be accountable for their children. Just be careful about cutting too many administrators. Then there will be no oversight on the teachers. I think they did a good job last year cutting the administrators. I'm content on what's there now. We have to accept that costs go up each year, just like everything else. As long as its reasonable (which it is), I'm voting YES.
brickmom April 02, 2011 at 11:32 PM
hey c/d...how much of the 83% is for administration? If you don't know, I will tell you...less than 10%!! So that means that 73+% is going to the actual TEACHING of the students. As a parent here in Brick, I am happy to pay the minimal increase in my taxes in order to ensure that the teachers remain here and don't go somewhere else! The overall budget increased by 0.5% from last year, while the total staff expenditures increased by 1.0%. That means that the BOE has kept it's other expenditures equivalent to last year at the very least. All this while adding middle school sports back in, extra practice ice time for our hockey teams, full time weight room attendants and earnest money for capital projects. Where did they go wrong?
Christina Weaver April 03, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Dear JB, I am joining you in voting IN FAVOR of the school budget.
Jenny Vance April 08, 2011 at 09:05 PM
“I believe the budget I am presenting tonight continues to provide our children with what they need to succeed while staying within the 2 percent cap,” said Hrycennko, referring to the state’s new 2 percent cap on tax levy increases. (from above article) Just because there is a 2 percent cap, why must we take advantage of it? Why even increase the budget at all? Why not take a year off. No salary increases, no new programs, no sports, no clubs, no capital improvements (other than those sponsored by grants with matching funds), nothing. Take the year off to get back on track and then next year start over.


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