The tax levy will not rise under the final version of the 2012-13 Brick school budget.
The township Board of Education adopted the $144,408,798 total spending plan Thursday night following a public hearing on the matter.
The mood was subdued compared to multiple, packed-house budget hearings held last year, when an increase in the levy was proposed and – at the onset of the budget process – middle school sports programs were not funded. Eventually, sports funding was restored, though the budget was defeated.
This year, no referendum will be held on the tax levy since it falls within the state's 2 percent levy cap. No referendum is required under a new state law that also allows board elections to be held in November.
Only a few members from the public who regularly attend board meetings spoke at Thursday's meeting, all asking general questions.
"It's good for our kids, and I think the taxpayers will be happy," board member John Talty said of this year's budget.
Superintendent Walter Hrycenko said though the budget does not increase taxes, it adds $1 million to the district's technology budget and maintains about the same amount of capital projects funding as last year.
Additionally, the budget adds a technology coach, a teacher for French and Italian classes, a Learning Language Disabled teacher, basic skills teachers and an English Language Learner teacher to the district's staff.
"We only have one French teacher at each [high] school, and they're saturated," Hrycenko said. "Italian is the same way."
The budget also provides for a new middle school math curriculum, Italian, French and Spanish I textbooks, additional computer programming classes, genetics classes, an AP biology class and a Modern American Literature class.
Capital projects funded under the budget include a new roof for Emma Havens Young Elementary School, a new floor for Brick Memorial High School, new bench carpeting for the Primary Learning Center, locking auditorium doors for Veterans Elementary School and security cameras for all schools.
The budget also provides for numerous technology items, including interactive classroom equipment and iPads and laptops for students and staff. New workstations will be purchased for the high school libraries, Hrycenko said.
The board also hopes to be able to fund renovations to the locker rooms at the two high schools as well as Lake Riviera Middle School, said board member Walter Campbell.
An additional $251,739 was put towards that project after savings were realized from lower natural gas prices.