BOE Agenda: Budget Public Hearing
Superintendent Bill George says the budget proposes the lowest tax hike in a decade or more.
Both municipal and schools officials are touting budgets that they say propose the lowest tax hikes in at least a decade, with the township’s budget bringing with it an average annual increase of $43 and schools hiking its portion of the bill by about $46.
The public hearing on what Middletown Superintendent of Schools William George says is a fiscally sound budget with benefits to be proud of will be conducted at the board's voting meeting on March 27 at 7:30 p.m. But, at tonight's workshop meeting at Middletown High School North’s library, the the spending plan is up for discussion.
The 2012-13 $149.7 budget, with a tax levy of $125 million falls under the state-mandated 2 percent cap and represents a .98 percent tax levy hike, which translates into about an extra $46 a year on the schools portion of taxpayers’ bills, or roughly $4 a month.
The estimate is based on an average property assessed at $376,800 in the township.
The “amount to be raised by taxes,” or tax levy, falls $1.3 million below the state cap.
State aid is up by $851,011 from last year, with this year’s figure at $17,484,212, up from last year’s $16,633,190.
The general operating budget is staying almost exactly level from last year’s $145.7 million and last year’s tax levy of $123.8 million, what George says is the lowest proposed hike in a decade.
“The budget prepared by the Middletown Township Board of Education and the administrative team for the 2012-13 school year is both fiscally and educationally responsible,” George said.
There will be no vote on the budget this year, as the spending plan is lower than the state cap.
The district opted to move its elections to November, in line with a new state-sanctioned plan designed to eliminate the added election costs of holding a separate schools election in April.
According to state edict, if the budget is kept below the 2 percent, then there will be no vote on it, only Board of Education members. Any budget that crosses the 2 percent line must be voted on in ballot question, if a district has opted for the November schools elections.
George touted the room left in what he says is a fiscally austere budget to maintain and enhance programs. Those programs are: full day Kindergarten, advanced placement classes and programs, athletic programs, summer programs at middle and elementary schools and PSAT and HSPA testing initiatives.
With the 2012-13 budget, there will also be staff additions, including: a music teacher at High School South, four special education teachers, three math teachers between Thompson Middle School and high schools North and South, one new elementary teacher, 1.6 new “specials” teachers, one elementary special education teacher and one district-wide student services supervisor.
For more information, see the attached presentations.